China NPC: Economy growth target 'around 6.5%' in 2018

Some of the wealthiest people in China are members of the Communist Party and the CPPCC
Some of the wealthiest people in China are members of the Communist Party and the CPPCC
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06 March, 2018

While responding to Trump's declaration, spokesman for the National People's Congress, Zhang Yesui said China does not want a trade war with the United States, but insist if the U.S. takes actions that hurt Chinese interests, China will not sit idly by and will take necessary measures.

China's economy outperformed last year's target and registered actual growth of 6.9 percent.

"We will stick to the Chinese path in strengthening our armed forces, advance all aspects of military training and war preparedness", Premier Li Keqiang said as he read a report to almost 3,000 delegates at the Great Hall of the People.

China will continue to achieve the three major tasks to prevent major risks - mainly financial risks, targeted poverty alleviation and pollution control, the report said.

China also refuted criticism that its multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was a geo-strategic tool to spread its influence and said such a characterisation was a "misinterpretation".

Local government debt grew 7.5% percent previous year to $2.6 trillion, according to figures in January.

In a further display of sophistication, China in early February said it successfully tested a mid-course anti-missile defence system, deploying similar technology to that used to destroy a defunct Chinese satellite in 2007.

"We can expect continued recovery of the global economy, but there are also many factors that bring instability and uncertainty", the premier said.

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But last week's escalation in trade tensions with the United States has jumped to the top of the list of uncertainties facing China this year.

She said she hopes for new concrete policies including more investment in environmental protection.

China beat forecasts in 2017 as the world's second grew by 6.9 per cent, picking up steam for the first time since 2010 despite a battle against massive debt and polluting factories.

The fiscal deficit is set at 2.38 trillion yuan ($375.2 billion) this year and the fiscal deficit to GDP ratio is set at 2.6 percent, compared with 3 percent set last year, according to the report. ANZ had expected both targets to be set at 10 percent or lower this year.

The Chinese authorities also intend to unlock gradually the national market of bank cards' clearing as well as securities and funds management.

"The consumer price index is expected to amount to 3 percent in 2018", the report said, stressing that the urban unemployment in the country will likely remain at the level of 4.5-percent. Lawmakers are expected to enact sweeping changes that would allow President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely and possibly approve the biggest regulatory overhaul of the $43 trillion finance-and-insurance sector in 15 years.

China suspects Tsai wants to push for formal independence, which would cross a red line for Communist Party leaders in Beijing, though Tsai has said she wants to maintain the status quo and is committed to ensuring peace.

"One of the greatest tasks after he took office was to remove all threats to the party and state".


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