BEIJING — China's economic growth accelerated to 10.7 percent in the final quarter of 2009, adding to pressure on Beijing to cool inflation pressures while keeping the country's recovery on track.
The quarterly growth announced today exceeded most forecasts and brought 2009's full-year expansion to 8.7 percent. The government had forecast 8.3 percent growth for the year.
China has rebounded strongly from the global downturn but the government worries that heavy stimulus spending and bank lending might fuel inflation. Regulators have ordered banks to control lending and analysts expect them to raise interest rates this year.
China has led the recovery from the global financial and economic crisis, due partly to its $586 billion of stimulus spending.
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Afghanistan to boost security forces
KABUL — The Afghan government and its international partners have agreed to significantly increase the country's security forces and outlined plans to lure Taliban militants from the fight in a bid to turn the tide of the war.
A joint panel of officials from Afghanistan, the U.N. and troop-contributing nations approved plans Wednesday to train more than 100,000 more security forces by the end of next year.
The decision comes ahead of a Jan. 28 conference in London, which is aimed at boosting international support for Afghanistan in the face of a resurgent Taliban and complaints about runaway corruption in President Hamid Karzai's government.
The London conference will endorse the decisions and solicit funding for the programs, U.N. spokesman Aleem Siddique said.