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Premier Li says no hard landing for China, expects medium to high growth

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[June 18, 2014]  LONDON (Reuters) - China's economy will not have a hard landing and will maintain medium to high growth in the long run, Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday.

Speaking during a visit to London, Li said he expected China's economy, the world's second largest after the United States, to grow at a minimum of 7.5 percent and the Consumer Price Index to grow by not more than 3.5 percent.

He said Beijing would not resort to "strong stimulus" but would rely on targeted measures to ensure growth was met.

"There have been some discussions saying that the Chinese economy is slowing down, they are worried whether the Chinese economy will head to a hard landing. Here I will be very frank and I will also make this point very solemnly: this will not happen," Li said.

"I do believe that the Chinese economy will maintain medium to high level growth rate in the long run," he said. "So the minimum growth rate we expect is 7.5 percent to ensure job creation and the ceiling that is CPI growth will not exceed 3.5 (percent) so that people’s lives are not affected."

In a speech at the Mansion House in London's financial district, Li said China would not resort to strong stimulus.

"We have the ability to maintain this targeted approach, we will not resort to strong stimulus, but rather smart and targeted regulation to ensure that major economic indicators, including the 7.5 percent growth target, remain and ensure a sustained rate in the future," Li said.

(Reporting by William James, writing by Guy Faulconbridge, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

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