China's economy may be headed for a "rough landing," Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.
"They've built a lot of infrastructure. They have built a lot of capacity in many industries, autos, some of the electronics industries," Lee said, according to a transcript of an interview airing today on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS programme. "There may be a rough landing, but they will get through it."
A Chinese government report on Wednesday showed that export orders fell last month even as manufacturing expanded.
The stronger manufacturing boosted concern that the world's second-largest economy will decelerate further as the government refrains from loosening monetary policy to tame inflation and curb property prices.
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US presence ‘benign'
China's economy expanded 10.4 per cent annually in the past 10 years, five times the pace of the US, as the government boosted spending on roads and bridges, and manufacturers exported everything from toys to socks.
China's economy grew at a 9.2 per cent rate in 2011 while expansion will slow to 8.5 per cent this year, according to economists' estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Asked about China's role in Asia, Lee said "every superpower or big country has to be looked on with a certain careful respect by others not quite so huge."
He said the US presence in the Pacific that followed the Second World War is "still welcomed and is still considered benign. And that's really a good example for the Chinese to seek to emulate."