China's government debt at "overall safe level": premier Wen

China's premier Wen Jiabao said the nation's government debt was at an "overall safe and controllable" level and assured continued funding for key projects. He added,  applying the brakes to the problem would be done in a way to avoid systemic risks.

Investors have raised concerns over the size of the debts built up by China's local governments, which could end up compromising the stability of the banking system.

Wen's comments, reported in the official People's Daily today, came during a speech in early January at the government's flagship financial work conference.

Wen pledged that local government debt risks would be contained and local government debt risks defused to avoid the spread of financial risks.

"Currently, our government debt is overall safe and controllable," he said.

"We are taking the issue of managing local government debt very seriously. Through clean-ups and regulation, the trend of expanding investment vehicles has been effectively contained."