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China “shifting growth from quantity to quality”: Premier
March 15, 2015, 5:25 am

Journalists raise hands to ask questions at the press conference of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang after the closing meeting of the third session of China's 12th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 15, 2015 [Xinhua]

Journalists raise hands to ask questions at the press conference of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang after the closing meeting of the third session of China’s 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 15, 2015 [Xinhua]

China faces financial dangers as its economy cools but authorities can prevent systemic risks, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Sunday.

“China can prevent systemic or regional financial crises, allowing market-ruled liquidation in isolated cases,” he said.

Li Keqiang was holding an annual news conference following the closing session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), or Parliament, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday.

Responding to a query on China overtaking the US as the world’s biggest economy, Li stressed that China is still a “developing country in every sense of the term”.

“China’s per capita GDP is till behind around 80 countries in the world. According to World Bank figures, 200 million Chinese still live in poverty,” Li noted.

The Chinese Premier said the government will loosen policies, if needed, in a targeted manner to prevent the economy from slowing too much, or avoid a sharp decline in employment.

“China is shifting economic growth from quantity to quality,” he said.

“China still has a host of policy tools at the government’s disposal to bolster its economic growth,” he added.

The goal of about 7 per cent — down from last year’s aspiration of about 7.5 per cent — was given in Premier Li Keqiang’s work report at the annual meeting of the legislature in Beijing on March 4 this year.

Li, on Sunday, said China will further “streamline administration, mandate more powers to lower-level governments to vitalize market to boost market vitality”.

China has set the lowest economic growth target in more than 15 years.

Chinese policymakers are seeking to increase the role of private business, promote innovation and reshape the fiscal framework as they shift the economy from reliance on exports toward greater consumption and services.

 

TBP and Agencies

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