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Originally published October 17, 2011 at 4:02 AM | Page modified October 17, 2011 at 6:12 AM

China: Occupy Wall Street's issues worth thought

China's foreign ministry said Monday the Occupy Wall Street movement highlights issues that are worth considering, but that debates generated by the protests should promote global economic growth.

The Associated Press

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BEIJING —

China's foreign ministry said Monday the Occupy Wall Street movement highlights issues that are worth considering, but that debates generated by the protests should promote global economic growth.

The movement began a month ago in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park with loosely organized protests against what demonstrators consider unbridled corporate greed.

It has swelled to include demonstrations on Saturday elsewhere in the U.S. and in Europe involving hundreds of thousands of people. In China, online calls for similar protests did not appear to elicit any responses.

"We feel that there are issues here that are worth pondering," said Liu Weimin, a foreign ministry spokesman during a regular briefing in Beijing.

"We have also noticed that in the media there has been a lot of commentary, discussion and reflection. But we think that all of these reflections should be conducive to maintaining the sound and steady development of the world economy," Liu said, without elaborating.

The state-run Global Times newspaper said in an editorial that the Chinese should "calmly observe the protest movement and the global situation, and not be confused by extreme points of view."

Earlier in the year, anonymous online calls for protests in China inspired by those that have swept across the Middle East and North Africa spooked the Chinese government into launching one of its broadest campaigns of repression in years. The calls for demonstrations every Sunday did not draw any overt protesters.

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