Activity in China’s manufacturing sector expanded faster than expected in February, an official survey showed on Wednesday. The official Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to a three-month high of 51.6 in February, compared with the previous month’s 51.3, and above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. Analysts had predicted a reading of 51.1, pointing to a modest expansion as China’s industrial firms continued to benefit from higher sales prices and a recovery in demand fuelled by a construction boom. The release of the figures came a day after the top leadership in Beijing vowed to tighten regulations to control risks in financial markets. China’s economic growth will be surprisingly strong, CICC says President Xi Jinping said at a meeting on Tuesday that a system should be set up to coordinate financial regulations to safeguard against systemic risks. He also ordered that the pace of economic reforms be sped up. The message came ahead of annual parliamentary sessions that begin on Friday. Lawmakers and advisers will gather in Beijing to discuss key policies as China faces economic and financial headwinds that could send ripples through global markets.