Xi: China Can Reach 6.5% Economic Growth Over Five Years

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China’s President Xi Jinping announced on Tuesday that the national government and the Communist Party were aiming for a 6.5% annual economic growth rate from 2016 to 2020. The announcement tempered expectations that the country’s sluggish economy will rebound to double-digit growth anytime soon. It also came at a time when the party released its broad outlines of proposals for the next five years.

The economic development blueprint was discussed in a party meeting in Beijing recently. The National People’s Congress should complete the plan by next spring.

President Xi’s declaration of a 6.5% target reiterated the same figure Prime Minister Li Keqiang used in his speech in South Korea on Sunday. Both leaders noted that this target must be reached in order to double China’s per capita income and gross domestic product by 2020.

China’s goal is to narrow the income gap and increase the proportion of the middle-class income population over the next five years.

Xi’s report stated that China’s GDP per capita is roughly $7,800. Under the current development plan, which will expire at the end of this year, an annual growth target was set for 7%.

The proposals for the new plan aimed to eliminate rural poverty; promote both foreign and domestic investing; and encourage the inclusion of the Chinese currency in the IMF’s basket of currencies. In addition, China would create a Green Development Fund, which will promote sustainable growth and clean industry.

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