China keeps growth target of around 6.5 percent this year


Chinese officials have defended the end of Xi's term limits as necessary to ensure continuity as Beijing undertakes a sprawling long-range agenda aimed at making state industry competitive and productive, developing a profitable high-tech industry, reducing poverty and cleaning up China's battered environment.

Delegates to China's rubber-stamp parliament rallied around the decision to let President Xi Jinping rule indefinitely, as the annual session of the National Peoples' Congress got underway on Monday.

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

The Chinese government says its defense spending this year will grow 8.1 percent from 2017.

"Upholding the leadership of the Communist Party of China and reflecting the will of the people should be the principles for amending the Constitution", Zhang said at a press conference.

The same GDP target set for this year should also be within reach without much difficulty, according to global China watchers.

The above targets take into consideration the need to secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and are fitting given the fact that Chinas economy is transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development, the report said.

Li said China opposes protectionism and supports the settlement of trade disputes through negotiation, but will "resolutely safeguard" its legitimate rights and interest.

"Policy wise, the report definitely has a tightening bias", said Betty Wang, senior China economist at ANZ in Hong Kong."In line with expectations, the government is pushing through their reform agenda". However, it still is high enough that private-sector analysts have questioned whether it can be achieved without setting back reform efforts by pumping up bank lending and government stimulus spending. "We will expand industrial capacity cooperation with other countries, and with this enable Chinese manufacturing and Chinese services to go global", read the report presented by Premier Li.

This could indicate further action like that taken against insurance giant Anbang, which was last month taken over by insurance regulators. Income thresholds for personal income tax are likely to increase, he said. It must be noted that the Communist Party of China's (CPC) Central Committee has proposed to remove the two-term limit for the post of president and vice president through a constitutional amendment. Without mentioning a target, Li said M2 broad money supply growth will remain reasonable.