World Economy

Xi: 6.5% Growth Enough to Meet Goals

Xi: 6.5% Growth  Enough to Meet GoalsXi: 6.5% Growth  Enough to Meet Goals

Growth of only 6.5% a year in 2016-2020 will be enough for China to meet its wealth goals, President Xi Jinping said Tuesday according to the official news agency Xinhua.

The report came as the ruling Communist Party issued guidelines for the next five-year plan for the world's second-largest economy, whose slowing growth has alarmed investors worldwide. The first documents released by the leadership conclave did not include a numerical growth target.

But Xinhua cited Xi as saying that annual growth should be no less than 6.5% in the next five years to achieve the Communist Party's aim of doubling GDP per capita from 2010 by the end of the decade.

It said he made the remarks in a speech, without giving direct quotes. The doubling target is part of achieving what China's ruling party calls a "moderately prosperous society" in time for the 100th anniversary of its foundation.

The comments are the clearest indication yet that Beijing will reduce its target growth rate from the current "around 7%", after expansion slowed last quarter to its lowest in six years. Some economists say that the current figure is unattainable going forwards, and that trying to do so risks derailing painful but necessary markets reforms.

The country has faced economic turbulence in recent months as it attempts to transition its economy from years of super-charged growth to a more modest pace it has dubbed the "new normal".

Botched stock market interventions and a sudden currency devaluation have rattled confidence in the country's leadership, which has staked its legitimacy on maintaining an aura of economic infallibility.

Economy Resilient

China's economy is resilient and the fundamentals remain unchanged despite a slowdown, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said on Sunday.

Zhang made the remarks when addressing a group of former political leaders, top intellectuals and entrepreneurs from different countries who were attending the second Understanding China Conference in Beijing.

Briefing the foreigners on the fifth plenary session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee, which approved proposals on the 13th five-year plan for national economic and social development from 2016 to 2020, Zhang said China will highlight innovation, coordinated and green development, opening up and inclusiveness to fulfill the economic goals in the next five years.

The vice premier said China will continue to comprehensively deepen reform and give priority to development.

China will work to advance economic and social development in a sustainable way and ensure that the country can realize "a moderately prosperous society" by 2020, said the premier.