China's economic growth goals will be flexible, says Premier

China will prioritise employment and living standards

China will prioritise employment and living standards

BEIJING - China's goal of achieving economic growth of "about" 7.5 percent by the end of 2014 is relatively flexible because of the importance the country wants to place on improving the employment rate and living standards, according to China's Premier Li Keqiang. 

Keqiang spoke about China's economy after the closing of the annual National People's Congress session on Thursday. He said the nation must prepare for more complex challenges.

"We have the capability and conditions to keep economic growth within a proper range this year," Li said. "We set the GDP [Gross Domestic Product] growth target at about 7.5 per cent. But this ‘about' shows there is a level of flexibility here."

Keqiang said China's targets also include averting inflation, limiting risks, raising the quality and efficiency of economic development, tackling pollution and saving energy. 

"We need to strike a proper balance among all these,” he said.

The premier also said that the country aimed for more than 10 million urban jobs to be created each year, as well as work for between 6 million and 7 million rural migrants in cities. He said China needs appropriate growth to make these goals possible.

Stating that China is considered to be a developing economy, Keqiang said: "Modernization is the common goal of 1.3 billion of Chinese people. We need a peaceful and consistent international area."

He also called for new progress between China and Taiwan, referencing a record 8 million visits between the two countries last year.

"I hope to see even greater, new progress in cross-Strait ties this year," Keqiang said.

He also mentioned the trade volume of $520 billion between the U.S. and China.  

"As long as the two sides respect each other's core interests and major concerns, properly manage their differences and engage in equal consultations, and in particular, continue to expand their common interests, the two countries will be able to further raise the level of their relationship."

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