China has set a growth target of 6.5% for 2018, Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday. The country has kept is goal unchanged as it continues its efforts to reduce risks in the financial system.
China has also slashed its budget deficit target for the first time since 2012, an indication that the country is being more careful with its fiscal spending. It will also crack down on financially risky operations that have threatened to cause major firms to collapse.
The growth target is more or less in line with what economists had expected, reported Reuters. China’s economy grew 6.9% in 2017, exceeding the government’s target of 6.5%.
The unchanged growth target was fitting, China said, as its economy was moving from a phase of “rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development” and would allow it to “achieve relatively full employment”, BBC reported.
China’s announcement of its growth target comes at a time when it is engaged in a trade conflict with the United States after President Donald Trump said he would impose hefty tariffs on imported steel and aluminium to protect American producers.
Li, on Monday, said China did not support protectionism but supported negotiation to settle trade disputes. The premier, however, added the country would “resolutely safeguard” its rights.
Among China’s other economic targets are achieving an inflation of 3%, reducing overproduction, including that of steel and coal, controlling pollution and bringing down poverty.