China sets 2018 GDP growth target at around 6.5 pct

China sets 2018 GDP growth target at around 6.5 pct

China sets 2018 GDP growth target at around 6.5 pct

The economy grew by 6.9 percent in 2017 and the government said Monday it will target growth of around 6.5 percent in 2018.

President Donald Trump announced last Thursday he would impose hefty tariffs on imported steel and aluminium to protect US producers, risking retaliation from major trade partners like China, Europe and neighbouring Canada and sparking fears of a global trade war.

Yet, China will keep its yuan currency basically stable, Li said in remarks to the opening of the annual meeting of parliament.

China's defence budget takes up a smaller share of its gross domestic product (GDP) and national fiscal expenditure compared with other major countries, Zhang Yesui, spokesperson of the NPC told media here yesterday.

Last year, experts of the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) claimed that in 2032, mainland China would likely overtake the United States as the world's largest economy in dollar terms.

The budget increase, a figure that is closely watched around the world for clues to China's strategic intentions, comes as economic growth has picked up, expanded 6.9 percent past year, the first acceleration in annual growth since 2010.

Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), presides over the 116th meeting of the chairman and vice-chairpersons of the 12th NPC Standing Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 4, 2018.

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Beijing actually gave a similar target for 2017 - saying a year ago that it was aiming for growth "around 6.5% or higher if possible".

Much of China's energies have been focused on what is known as anti-access/area denial, or A2/AD operations that seek to scare the U.S. Navy and other forces far from China's shores. He also said China will improve supervision over shadow banking, internet finance and financial holding companies, and step up risk controls at financial institutions.

Chinese economy outperformed its annual growth target by expanding 6.9 per cent last year, picking up for the first time in seven years.

China aims to maintain inflation level at around 3 per cent and create over 11 million new urban jobs, reports Xinhua news agency.

Li also said he expects reasonable growth in broad M2 money supply and total social financing this year, without stating a target. Last year's budget called for an increase of 7.1 percent, the slowest pace since at least 1991. 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.

At the same time, Beijing has imposed increasingly assertive claims to vast expanses of the contested East Sea, known internationally as South China Sea, while engaging in confrontations with Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea and with India over Himalayan border regions.

China will also continue to cut more steel and coal production, deepening its vow to make "skies blue again", as Beijing chases quality over dizzying, polluting growth.

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