27 Feb '11, 6am

China targets 7% growth, to rein in inflation

BEIJING - Premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday said China had set a lower than usual economic growth target and pledged to contain soaring prices as concern over runaway growth mounts. Wen made the comments in a chat with Internet users as authorities braced for possible rallies in major cities after an online appeal aimed at pressing for government openness. Wen also said the world's second-largest economy would aim for seven percent annual growth over the next five years -- a rare lowering of its usual target of eight percent expansion, until now seen as key to staving off social unrest. And he again brushed off foreign complaints about the value of the country's currency, seen by critics in the United States and elsewhere as artificially undervalued, saying any "substantial" appreciation would hurt the economy. "Rapid price rises have affected the lives of the people and even s...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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