BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- China will strengthen its financial support for epidemic control, with the battle against the novel coronavirus at a critical stage, the country's financial authorities said Saturday.

China will work to maintain reasonable and sufficient liquidity, noted a circular jointly released by the People's Bank of China (PBOC) and several other departments.

The central bank will use monetary policy tools such as open market operations to release sufficient liquidity into the market, and keep interest rates at a stable level, said Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the PBOC.

More efforts will be made to strengthen credit support for the manufacturing sector, small and micro enterprises as well as private firms, the circular noted, adding that certain fees will be reduced or exempted for listed companies in areas worst hit by the epidemic.

The circular also required the establishment of a "green channel" to make forex and cross-border renminbi businesses more effective, urging more efforts to facilitate the imports of anti-virus supplies and support enterprises in cross-border financing for epidemic control.