China insists growth target will be met despite slump

Speaking at World Economic Forum, Chinese premier admits hitting economic targets will be a difficult process.

The Chinese economy has been rattled by a slump in stock prices [Reuters]
The Chinese economy has been rattled by a slump in stock prices [Reuters]

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has said his country is on track to hit its seven percent growth target despite difficulties brought on by a slump in the country’s stock market. 

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However, speaking at the World Economic Forum in the Chinese city of Dalian on Thursday, Li admitted the target would be hard to achieve.

Al Jazeera’s Adrian Brown, reporting from Beijing, said Li appeared to be under pressure and looked nervous in front of the audience comprised of business and political leaders from around the world.

“His message was one of reassurance… He said China will achieve its economic growth target of seven percent, and gave categoric assurances,” Brown said. 

“Overall, the Chinese premier wanted to give the illusion at least that China’s economy was still stable – but these are difficult times.”

Stock market slump

China’s stock market began a sharp slump in June with the Shanghai composite, the country’s main benchmark, sliding from a peak of 5,166 points to a low of 2,927 points in August.

Global markets have responded negatively to the fall, and China has sought to reassure international investors by pumping $100bn of cash into banks in the hopes of helping spur the economy.

The world’s second largest economy’s central bank has also devalued its currency, the yuan, in the hopes that it would boost exports and encourage Chinese consumers to buy locally produced products.

Despite some fears of a global currency war, Li said on Thursday that China had no interest in such an event and that countries should instead boost economic cooperation as the global economy remains sluggish.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies


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