DAVOS, SWITZERLAND —
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Wednesday that China's slowing economy reflected the broader, global situation and promised that he would forge ahead with major reforms to boost growth prospects.
Li told the World Economic Forum in Davos that China, hurt by a housing slump and waning investment and manufacturing growth, would continue to face headwinds in 2015.
China, the world's second-largest economy, announced Monday that growth slowed to 7.4 percent in 2014 from 7.7 percent in 2013, with fourth-quarter expansion put at 7.3 percent — slightly higher than markets had expected.
"The Chinese economy will face downward pressures in 2015," Li said, adding that it was not heading "for a hard landing."
"China's economy has entered a period of new normal," he said. "The new situation has made structural reform all the more necessary. The [economic] adjustment in China reflects the world economy."
Among the reforms he listed were liberalizing the service sector, protecting intellectual property rights and deepening China's capital markets.
"We will move toward the path of reforms," Li said. "This way we can shift gears without losing momentum and achieve medium- to high-speed growth, and medium- to high-level development."
Beijing would encourage mass entrepreneurship and innovation, he said, which could "offer an endless source of creativity and wealth" and a "gold mine" for the country to tap.
The government should let the market "take a decisive role," he added.
Fiscal policy, taxation, foreign exchange and financial markets will also all be overhauled, the Chinese premier said.
"China will continue to move along the path of restructuring with great determination,'' he said.
He added that China did not intend to compete with other countries for supremacy. Regional hostilities must be resolved by political means, he said.
At last year's meeting in Davos, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe raised concerns about a potential clash between China and Japan, drawing a parallel at the time with the eve of World War I. But those worries have since eased, with both states seemingly determined to keep a firm lid on tensions.