(Updates with comments on Europe in third paragraph.)
Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- China should maintain “stable” trade policies as the global financial crisis continues to spread, Premier Wen Jiabao said, according to a report published on the website of the central government.
Any adjustment should be more “encouraging” than “restrictive,” according to comments that Wen made during a visit to Guangdong on Feb. 3 and 4. He was in the southern province with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Chinese economy expanded at the slowest pace in 10 quarters in the October-to-December period as the European debt crisis curbed demand for goods. China should aim to preserve its own interests when considering relations with Europe, and the nation will benefit by helping stabilize European markets, according to Wen.
Businesses should improve their competitiveness by developing their own brands, adjusting export structures and venturing into new markets, Wen said. Guangdong is one of China’s biggest manufacturing centers.
The province, where China set up its first special economic zones to attract overseas investment, also got attention from the central government when protests last year in the village of Wukan led to the ousting of local officials.
“We must preserve the voting rights of villagers,” Wen was cited as saying in the report. “The election process should be open, fair and transparent,” he said.
--Chua Baizhen and Huiwen Yang. Editors: Jake Lloyd-Smith, Anil Varma
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