China's economy faces great challenges and new uncertainties brought about by the global economic environment and various countries' ailing stock markets, Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday.
As well as maintaining stable levels of employment, China must be highly vigilant and maintain financial market stability, Li said.
Li's comments were published in state media in an article picked up by China's official government website.
The comments come after China reported economic growth of 6.9% for 2015, its weakest in 25 years. A slew of economic indicators has sent mixed signals to markets at the start of 2016 over the health of China's economy.
"The current international market's continued downturn puts great pressure on China's economy," Li said.
But he said there was still great potential and plenty of room to maneuver given the country's high savings rates.
The stock market and exchange rate fluctuations of the past year have provided lessons for China, Li said. These included issues with internal management, timely and effective responses, and taking the initiative at a technical level.
Earlier on Monday, official data showed China's yuan-denominated exports were down 6.6% in January from a year earlier.