The Chinese government Sunday announced a $586 billion (4 trillion yuan) stimulus package aimed at helping the country weather the global financial and economic crisis.

In a statement on its Web site, Beijing said it wanted to boost domestic demand amid signs its export-driven economy is starting to feel the effects of the global slowdown.

"This is a shift long advocated by analysts of the Chinese economy and by some within the government," the statement said. "It comes amid indications that economic growth, exports and various industries are slowing."

The government said it would spend 4 trillion yuan over the next two years in 10 areas, including low-income housing, rural infrastructure, water, electricity, the environment and rebuilding in the wake of natural disasters, including the May earthquake.

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The government also plans to reform value-added taxes, which would cut costs to Chinese industry by about $17.6 billion.

Beijing will also abolish credit ceilings for commercial banks in an effort to drive lending to rural areas, technical innovation and small businesses.

The moves were announced Sunday by the State Council, or cabinet, after Premier Wen Jiabao presided over an executive meeting on Wednesday.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.