China sets GDP growth target of 6.5 percent for 2018

"Well according to the constitution of the CPC there is no such provision that there shall be no more than two successive terms for the General Secretary or Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) in the constitution of the China". His efforts to rein in spending contrast with an historic expansion of US borrowing under Donald Trump during a period of economic expansion. That number grew 5.5 percent compared to the year prior, to nearly 191.91 billion yuan ($30 billion).

Last year's growth came in at 6.9 percent, but that was supported by a boom in bank lending and real estate sales that regulators are trying to rein in amid concern about debt that has soared to the equivalent of 270 percent of annual economic output - unusually high for a developing country.

In line with Xi's vision of turning China into a superpower, Beijing upped military spending by 8.1 percent to $175 billion for this year.

The nearly 3,000 Communist Party members that occupy the seats of the National People's Congress (NPC), generally considered a rubber stamp that almost never rejects legislation, as we noted past year.

In his speech, Li Keqiang also said that over the last few years the world has witnessed an anemic recovery in the global economy, the volatility of global financial markets, and the sharp rise of protectionism.

China set a 2018 growth target of around 6.5 percent, omitting an intention to hit a faster pace if possible, as leaders intensify their push to ensure financial stability.

In his annual work report, Li also stressed that China had cut its budget deficit target for the first time since 2012, suggesting the government will be more watchful of fiscal spending.

China's deficit a year ago after including transfers from other sources came in spot-on target at 2.38 trillion yuan, the finance ministry said.

"The increase in China's defence budget sends a signal of living in peace and avoiding military conflicts with neighbours like India", Ni added.

A total of 2,980 people from all around China were elected as deputies to the 13th National People's Congress. Bruce Lui, senior lecturer in the journalism department of Hong Kong Baptist University, told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that some spending, such as in the area of military technology research, is not counted toward the defense budget, but as "science and technology" expenditures.

The most recent warfare the Chinese military was involved in was the brief border war between China and Vietnam in 1979. As part of this push, Beijing looks to implement technological improvements that will increase the military's overall strategic capabilities and expand its range.

The legislators are all but certain to approve the amendment on Sunday, as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership sets the agenda for the National People's Congress (NPC). You shouldn't treat your troops as pawns.

"In particular, we must achieve substantial progress in the tough battles of addressing big risks, poverty reduction and pollution prevention", said Li, who is officially second in the Chinese leadership but is overshadowed by Xi and his allies.

  • Leroy Wright