China's economy is far from overheating, according to a leading Asian Development Bank official. 'China has had many years of rapid growth, many more years than many people have expected,' said Joseph Eichenberger, a vice-president of the Manila-based bank. 'We need to study the data more carefully before we make a judgment. One thing we have to remember is that China has astounded us many times before.' Some regional economists, as well as those on the mainland, recently rang alarm bells over the potential for the property market bubble to burst. To help address the issue, the central government has put a squeeze on property loans and shut down many development zones in the nation that were speculative real estate developments. But Mr Eichenberger said economists and regulators should not only look at the property sector but should also focus on larger issues like financial sector reform, which was far more critical to China's longer-term growth. He said the key challenges for the mainland were diversifying the financial sector beyond just straight loans to state-owned enterprises and simple consumer loans, and creating new sources of corporate finance for Chinese enterprises that shifts the burden away from banks. The proposed creation of an Asian currency bond market could help China in its long-term financial sector reforms, he said. Mr Eichenberger described the concerns raised by some economists regarding the potential bursting of the mainland's property market as a good exercise in influencing policy makers. 'The ADB believes China is headed down a path of very significant growth. There are significant challenges in the financial sector ... but they're being resolved and that's very constructive,' he said.