Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao warned that the country's economy was ï¿½at a critical junctureï¿½ in 2004, singling out issues including banking reforms, overinvestment in key industrial sectors, declining grain production and transport and energy bottlenecks. Wen's statements came at the conclusion of the annual plenary session of the 10th National People's Congress, China's legislative body, in Beijing. Wen said China's present challenges were as serious as that of SARS in 2003. The premier appeared to be most concerned with banking reform, expressing doubts that the recent US$45 billion bailout of China Construction Bank and Bank of China was a ï¿½last-ditch battleï¿½ to prepare the banks for an open market.
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