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China warns of social unrest if growth slows

Slowing economic growth in China could translate into dangerous social unrest, the country's top security official has warned, and the government needs to be ready to cope with the "negative effects".

Inflation is a key concern, because rising costs – and in particular higher food prices – have provoked widespread grumblings of discontent.

Zhou Yongkang, the Politburo member responsible for law and order, has had a busy time this year since he stepped up domestic security to stem any potential contagion from the anti-authoritarian revolts in North Africa and the Middle East.

Mr Zhou told a group of provincial officials that a "mechanism for social management" was the "great and urgent task before us".