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China keeps growth target unchanged in balancing act
China keeps its economic growth target unchanged at around 7.5 percent this year as the government looks to achieve stable growth while driving through reforms for the long term good.
"On the basis of careful comparison and repeatedly weighing various factors as well as considering what is needed and what is possible, we set a growth target of around 7.5 percent," said the government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang at the parliament's annual session Wednesday.
This is the third consecutive year that the government put the goal at 7.5 percent.
China's economy expanded 7.7 percent last year, well above the government goal, but a set of data that pointed to softening manufacturing activity in recent months renewed concerns on the growth outlook of the world's second largest economy.
The world economic recovery still faces instability and uncertainties, as macro-policy adjustments made by some countries introduce new variables into the equation, and emerging economies are facing new difficulties and challenges, noted the report.
Describing the economy as at a critical juncture where the paths upward is "particularly steep" as basic conditions underpinning development are undergoing profound changes, the report stressed that the country must keep economic development as the central task and maintain a proper economic growth rate.
The report reiterated that reform is the top priority for the government's work this year.
"In carrying out reform, we need to focus on areas where the public call for reform is strongest, the most pressing problems hindering economic and social development, and links on which there is extensive public consensus," the report said.