Leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) are expected to trim the country’s economic growth target to as low as 6.5 percent a year when they gather later this month to discuss the development plan for the next five years, or the so-called 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020).
If that’s the case, it would be the first time that Chinese leaders are not expecting the economy to grow faster than 7 percent, Ming Pao Daily reported on Tuesday, citing mainland media reports.
The fifth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee was set for Oct. 26-29 during a meeting of the Political Bureau on Monday. The meeting was presided over by CPC Central Committee general secretary Xi Jinping, who will be in the United Kingdom for a state visit between Oct. 20 and 23.
Pan Jiancheng, deputy director of the National Bureau of Economic Monitoring Center under the National Bureau of Statistics, was quoted by the official People’s Daily as saying that it is clear the China’s economic growth has been decelerating, although slowly and smoothly.
It would be reasonable to expect the growth rate to range from 6.5 to 7.5 percent during the five-year period, and the range could be further lowered by 0.5 point should there be larger changes brought about by global factors.
Economic Information Daily, a newspaper under official Xinhua news agency, did not rule out the possibility that the growth target will be revised down to 6.5 percent for the five-year period from the 7 percent set for the current period.
It quoted some experts as saying that lowering the target is reasonable as Beijing’s priority now is to keep growth at a stable pace under the current trend of decline.
In addition to the central task of setting the course for the world’s second-largest economy, the leaders will also discuss high-level organizational revamps during the plenary session, including filling up vacancies in senior posts as a result of the anti-corruption campaign.
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