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China boosts state firms as entrepreneurs struggle
Chinese entrepreneurs struggle while mini-stimulus pumps money into state industry
By The Associated Press

ZHANJIANG, China (AP) Reformers say China needs more entrepreneurs like Liu Peijian. His chain of furniture stores employs 60 people. But Beijing's response to the deepest economic slump since the 2008 crisis is to pump money into state industry, leaving businesspeople like Liu who create jobs to fend for themselves.

Across town from Liu's office is a project that exemplifies China's mini-stimulus: An $11 billion steel mill being built by a government company and financed by state banks. It will employ 5,000 people or one job for each $2.2 million of investment.

Spending like that of Baosteel Group, owner of the Zhanjiang mill, is expected to help push up economic growth later this year. But the emphasis on state industry that creates few jobs will come at a longer-term cost.

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