China approves new economic roadmap

China's President Xi Jinping (2nd row, 2nd L), Premier Li Keqiang (2nd row, 2nd R), Politburo Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan (2nd row, R) and Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Yu Zhengsheng (2nd row, L) clap during the closing ceremony of National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 16 March 2016.Image copyright

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The closing of the National People’s Congress meeting on Monday was attended by President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang

China’s parliament has ended its annual session by approving a new five-year economic plan, as Premier Li Keqiang says the country will push ahead with economic reforms.

The plan aims to grow the world’s second-largest economy by around 6.5 to 7% a year by 2020.

Measures include cutting high debt, streamlining state-owned enterprises, and reforming financial markets.

China has been facing a period of slower growth and market volatility.

The plan, laid out by Communist Party leaders, received unanimous approval from the rubber-stamp National People’s Congress (NPC).

‘No hard landing’

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Mr Li addressed reporters at the end of the NPC meeting

At his annual press conference later, Mr Li stressed the importance of reforms to economic vitality and added it was “impossible” for him to side with views that the country would not meet economic targets.

He also acknowledged that there would be job losses as state-owned enterprises, particularly in the steel and coal industries, undergo reform, but assured there would be no mass redundancies.

Mr Li said the economy “will not suffer a hard landing, we have full confidence in the bright future of the Chinese economy.”

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