China Unveils $586 Billion Economic Stimulus Plan

China has announced a huge economic stimulus plan aimed at staving off an economic slowdown in the wake of the global financial crisis. From the New York Times:

In a bold move at a time when major projects are being put off around the world, Beijing said it would spend an estimated $586 billion by 2010 on wide array of national infrastructure and social welfare projects, including constructing new railways, subways, airports and rebuilding depressed communities.

The package, announced by the State Council Sunday evening, is the largest economic stimulus effort ever undertaken by the Chinese government and would amount to about 7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product during each of the next two years.

Beijing also said it was loosening credit and encouraging lending and that it needed to have a more “pro-active fiscal policy” in order to strengthen its economy.

Read also the Xinhua report on the package.