Central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan on Sunday called for greater use of fiscal policy to grapple with domestic growth and structural problems.
Monetary policy, he said, could be left to handle reflation, prevent an outbreak of financial risks and counter the spillover effects of an interest rate upcycle across the Pacific.
At a panel session at the Boao Forum for Asia, Zhou, 69, was reluctant to promote more liquidity support and appeared in favour of forcing painful restructuring.
"After so much quantitative easing in monetary policy, we may have reached an end of this period," he said in what could be his last appearance at the forum as central bank governor.
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Zhou took the helm of the People's Bank of China in 2002 and is the longest-serving chief in its history. Widely regarded as a reformist and capable technocrat, Zhou revamped the state banking system, developed the country's central banking scheme, liberated interest rates and promoted yuan internationalisation.
His one black mark is the loose monetary policy associated with former premier Wen Jiabao's all-out stimulus response to the global financial crisis.
Some critics say the stimulus created a debt mountain equivalent to 261 per cent of gross domestic product and generated huge financial risks from shadow banking to asset bubbles.