China sets robust growth target to shore up cooling economy
China sets robust growth target to shore up cooling economy
Zhang Yesui spokesman for the annual session of the National People's Congress
08 March, 2019, 10:25
China will control the pace and intensity of its structural deleveraging efforts, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the state planner, said in its report also released today.
China aims to maintain consumer inflation level at around 3 percent and create over 11 million new urban jobs.
Describing China's defence budget increases in recent years as reasonable and appropriate, NPC spokesman Zhang Yesui said the raise aimed to "meet the country's demand in safeguarding national security and military reform with Chinese characteristics".
China unveiled plans Tuesday to cut taxes and fees, step up infrastructure investment, and boost lending to small firms in a bid to shore up the slowing economy.
The growth in defense budget for this year is 0.6 percentage point lower than the 8.1-percent defense expenditure hike the Chinese government announced last year.
But with the economy losing steam, Value-Added Tax and social security fees will be cut, in a bid to stave off job losses and the related risk of unrest.
China's top economic official announced a robust annual growth target and a 7.5 percent rise in military spending as China opened a legislative session Tuesday that has been overshadowed by a trade war with Washington.
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In terms of monetary policy, Lee said the government will keep it neither too tight nor too loose, and will not resort to a flood of stimulus while growth in M2 money supply and total social financing this year will be in line with nominal GDP growth.
At a press conference ahead of the parliamentary session, National People's Congress spokesman Zhang Yesui pointed out that China's defence spending has maintained single-digit growth since 2016, and accounted for 1.3 per cent of GDP past year, while the defence budgets of other major developed countries took up 2 per cent or more. "There will be more risks and challenges that are either predictable or unpredictable and we must be fully prepared for a tough battle".
China's top economic official is promising all companies are to be "treated as equals" in a bid to defuse US and European trade complaints.
This year is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Last year, China had already lowered commercial lenders' reserve requirement ratio (RRR) five times to make borrowing easier for small and private firms.
A balance will be struck between stabilising economic growth and fending off risks, it said. "So where does this threat thing come from?" official news portal China Military Online wrote in a commentary on Tuesday.
Separately, China's top banking regulator said on Tuesday Beijing could "absolutely" reach an agreement with the United States on opening up its financial sector, even as the country's commerce minister admitted talks with Washington had been hard.
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