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Chinese President Xi Jinping has told senior officials to strengthen their ability to prevent and defuse major risks to ensure sustained and healthy economic development and social stability, according to the Xinhua news agency.

In his speech, Mr Xi who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), highlighted major risks in areas including politics, ideology, economy, science and technology, society, the external environment and Party building.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of a study session last week at the Party School in Beijing that was attended by senior provincial and ministerial officials.

On economic matters, Mr Xi said that China’s economy is generally in good shape but faces profound and complicated international and domestic changes, adding that challenges are inevitable in pushing ahead with supply-side structural reform.

He called for strategic resolve by advancing growth in the right direction while being ever ready to determine and deal with potential major economic risks.

Efforts should be made to balance stabilising growth and guarding against risks, he stressed.

Among other things, he said that it is necessary to introduce a long-term mechanism to maintain the sound development of the real estate market in a steady manner.

Market sentiment analysis should be strengthened, evaluations should be made for impact of new policies on the financial markets, public expectations should be better guided, and market monitoring and regulation coordination should be enhanced to address risks timely, he said.

He called for concrete measures to make financing for medium-sized, small and micro firms easier and affordable, and to stabilise and support employment.

He also said that efforts should be made to accelerate establishing an early warning and monitoring system to ensure scientific and technological security, as well as to promote legislation concerning artificial intelligence, gene editing, medical diagnosis, autopilot, drones and service robots.

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