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China sets 2020 goals as top legislature convenes

Updated: Mar 5,2016 11:00 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Premier Li Keqiang on March 5 expressed his confidence of realizing China’s 2020 goals, while mentioning to fight “a difficult battle” in face of tougher challenges.

The government work report, delivered by Premier Li at the opening meeting of the national legislature annual session, sets this year’s economic growth target at between 6.5 and 7 percent as well as the average annual growth rate for the next five years at above 6.5 percent.

The year 2016 is the starting year of China’s 13th Five-Year Plan towards 2020 by when China vowed to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. China aims to double the 2010 GDP and per capita personal income by 2020.

“We ... become more aware of the need to uphold political integrity, keep in mind the bigger picture, follow the Communist Party of China (CPC) as the core of the Chinese leadership, act consistently with CPC Central Committee policies,” the Premier said in his report.

GROWTH FOR FIVE YEARS

China is facing slower growth and trying to shift its development to a more sustainable model.

Explaining why setting the growth rate in this range, Premier Li said, “We have taken into consideration the need to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and the need to advance structural reform.”

Such a growth might help ensure employment and people’s welfare, he said.

Last year, China realized a GDP growth of 6.9 percent, with a total output exceeding 60 trillion yuan ($9.19 trillion), which means every percentage point of GDP growth is equivalent to 1.5 points five years before or 2.5 points ten years before.

“The larger the economy grows, the greater the difficulty of achieving growth,” Premier Li said.

Warning of “more and tougher problems and challenges” this year, the Premier noted that the country must be fully prepared to fight a difficult battle.

As the world sees weak growth in trade and fluctuations in financial and commodity markets, whose impact should not be underestimated, China is facing the changing pace of economic growth, difficulties in restructuring, shift of growth engines and downward pressure, Premier Li said.

“We will not be daunted by these problems and challenges,” he said. “There is no difficulty we cannot get beyond.”

The report listed a number of advantages, including a solid foundation laid by fast growth for years, hugely resilient economy, enormous potential, ample room for growth, new impetus provided by reform and finer macro-economic regulation.

Chi Fulin, a national political adviser and director of the China (Hainan) Institute for Reform and Development, said, “There are several very positive indicators in China’s economy, for instance, fundamentals still in a reasonable range, a booming service sector and industrial restructuring.”

China will continue to be a growth engine for the world as it is unveiling a new round of opening up, featured by the Belt and Road Initiative, international production capacity cooperation and infrastructure investment initiatives, he said.

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