China to lift 10 million people out of poverty by 2018

China to lift 10 million people out of poverty by 2018

Delegates to China's rubber-stamp parliament rallied around the decision to let President Xi Jinping rule indefinitely, as the annual session of the National Peoples' Congress got underway on Monday.

China maintained its growth target for 2018, despite the economy surpassing the goal past year, as the government aims to contain corporate debt and rein in pollution.

China has set a GDP growth target of 6.5% in 2018 - unchanged from 2017 and in line with expectations.

Economists expect growth momentum to weaken this year as the government reins in corporate debt, leading to higher borrowing costs, while a war on pollution and a cooling property market will slow heavy industries and real estate investment.

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"We saw above-target fiscal spending and revenue in 2017".

The figure released Monday's report to the ceremonial National People's Congress is an increase of about $10 billion from previous year.

Heavy government infrastructure spending was a major driver behind China's forecast-beating growth a year ago, but Beijing has been cracking down in recent months on some rail and road projects launched by local governments as it seeks to curb their massive debts.

"China calls for trade disputes to be settled through discussions as equals, opposes trade protectionism, and will resolutely safeguard its lawful rights", Mr Li said.

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Li also said China would keep its prudent monetary policy neutral, reaffirming authorities' position.

China's finance ministry says that the country's defense budget this year will rise 6 percent to 1.1 trillion yuan ($173 billion). Without mentioning a target, Li said M2 broad money supply growth will remain reasonable.

The announcement was made Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in an address to the National People's Congress.

China's ruling Communist Party proposed changes to the constitution that would allow President Xi Jinping to rule more than the current limit of two terms.

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