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The price surge has alarmed Chinese leaders, who remember that 1989’s Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests were driven in part by anger at raging inflation that exceeded 18 percent a year.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has ordered urgent measures to boost food production, promising farmers free vaccinations and other aid to raise more pigs. Local authorities have been ordered to subsidize the grocery bills of poor families.

Beijing has raised interest rates three times this year to cool the boom and avert a rise in inflation. After seeing the July price data, economists said they expect another rate increase shortly.