China Vice Premier: Must Punish Those Who Falsify Economic Data

  • Zhang Gaoli urges more accuracy in economic statistics
  • Comments follow report Liaoning province falsifed some data

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said economic statistics must not be fabricated and that those caught manipulating data should be punished and face consequences in their careers.

The central government requires authentic and reliable economic data to set policy, and China should have a traceable system to punish those found responsible for faking statistics, Zhang said Wednesday during a visit to the National Bureau of Statistics, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Zhang Gaoli

Photographer: Wu Hong-Pool/Getty Images

The comments are the latest signal that top leaders are attaching greater importance to data accuracy to better frame policy governing the world’s second-largest economy. Skepticism about China’s data grew last month after the state-run People’s Daily reported that Liaoning province faked fiscal revenue and other statistics from 2011 to 2014.

The central government has planned steps that will improve the independence of data collection and reduce the influence of local governments, Bloomberg reported last month, citing people familiar with the matter.

Zhang also encouraged local authorities and other agencies to better coordinate their work and enact statistical reforms.

— With assistance by Yinan Zhao

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