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China to unveil further major investment this year - premier

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks during the opening session of the China's Conference of Quality at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing September 15, 2014. REUTERS/Feng Li/Pool

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will launch major investment projects in information networks, water conservancy and environmental protection this year, Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday.

Fiscal and monetary policies would be kept flexible and appropriate "targeted" adjustments made when needed to support the real economy, Li said at a meeting with cabinet officials.

His remarks were published on a government website and no further details about the planned projects were given.

China's economy, the world's second largest, has had a rough time this year as unsteady exports, weaker domestic investment growth and a softening property market all weighed on activity.

Li said the downward pressure on the economy was a global problem, and was not just confined to China.

"We should be confident in the fundamentals of China's long-term growth and take into full consideration difficulties and challenges," the premier said.

To ensure the economy grows by around 7.5 percent this year, as the government hopes, authorities have taken several measures, such as reducing the amount of deposits that some banks have to hold as reserves, to boost lending.

Last week, policymakers took their boldest action yet to lift the economy by lowering mortgage rates and downpayment levels for some home buyers for the first time since the global financial crisis of 2008.

China was also abolishing bureaucratic approvals for investment in 15 areas, including roads, fertilizers and water supply, Li told a separate weekly cabinet meeting he also chaired.

The move meant China's central government has cut 40 percent of its red tape approval measures compared to 2013, Li said.


(Reporting by Koh Gui Qing; Additional reporting by Stian Reklev; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)