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China’s Economy Slows Down as Parliament Convenes

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China announced a modest goal for economic growth this year of around 5%, according to a government work report on Sunday, as the National People’s Congres's (NPC) started its annual parliamentary session.

In the report, outgoing Premier Li Keqiang said it was vital to prioritise economic stability, setting a target to create around 12 million urban jobs this year, up from last year’s goal of at least 11 million.

China's GDP only increased by 3% last year, one of the worst results in decades, as a consequence of 3 years of COVID-19 restrictions, a crisis in its massive real estate market, a crackdown on private industry, and a decline in global demand for Chinese exports.

This year’s target around 5% was at the low end of expectations, as policy sources had recently told Reuters a range as high as 6% could be set.

According to the study, Li increased the objective for the government's budget deficit from 2.8% of GDP to 3.0% of GDP.

This year’s parliamentary session will implement the biggest government shake-up in a decade as Beijing faces a host of challenges and looks to revive its COVID-battered economy.

Li and a number of other economic policy officials who are more pro-reform are scheduled to step down during the congress to make room for Xi Jinping's supporters

President Xi Jinping further solidified his hold on power by winning a record-breaking third term as party chief at the Communist Party Congress in October.

Former Shanghai party boss Li Qiang, a steadfast supporter of Xi, is anticipated to be approved as premier during the NPC and charged with reviving the world's second-largest economy.

The rubber-stamp parliament will also discuss Xi’s plans for an “intensive” and “wide-ranging” reorganisation of state and Communist Party entities during its meeting which will end on March 13th , state media reported on Tuesday , with analysts expecting further deepening of Communist Party penetration of state bodies.

The NPC opened on an overcast day amid tight security in Beijing

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