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

From BBC - March 4, 2018

China has set its 2018 economic growth target at "around 6.5%".

The figure, announced at the opening session of the annual National People's Congress, is in line with the country's existing expansion goals.

But it is below the 6.9% reported for 2017 - the first time in seven years the pace of growth picked up.

The report also said China would clamp down on the kind of financially risky operations which have threatened to cause the collapse of major firms.

It follows last months steps by Beijing to take control of insurance and financial giant Anbang.

Several other high-profile operations are also having their finances scrutinised by Beijing.

China is now the world's second largest economy, but a reliance on borrowing has led to pressing political concerns about debt risk.

As expected, the report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang said reining in this risk would be a key policy for the coming year, promising to "see that internal risk controls are tightened in financial institutions" and a "serious crackdown on activities that violate the law like illegal fundraising and financial fraud".

'High-quality development'

While many China watchers still believe the GDP numbers are much weaker than the official figures suggest, the country is a key driver of global growth.

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