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BEIJING -- China sets its GDP growth target at 7.5 percent this year, down from 8 percent in 2011, according to a government work report to be delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao at the parliament's annual session Monday.
This is the first time for the Chinese government to lower its economic growth target after keeping it around 8 percent for seven consecutive years.
"Here I wish to stress that in setting a slightly lower GDP growth rate, we hope to make it fit with targets in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, and to guide people in all sectors to focus their work on accelerating the transformation of the pattern of economic development and making economic development more sustainable and efficient, so as to achieve higher-level, higher-quality development over a longer period of time," reads the report which was distributed to the media.
Previously, China has announced to target a 7 percent GDP growth from 2011 to 2015, the country's 12th Five-Year Plan period.
China's economy expanded by 9.2 percent in 2011 to 47.16 trillion yuan ($7.49 trillion) from a year earlier after it grew 10.3 percent in 2010. In the fourth quarter last year, the country's GDP growth decelerated to 8.9 percent year-on-year, the slowest pace in 10 quarters.
The government has set the main theme of this year's economic and social development as "make progress while maintaining stability" at a tone-setting central economic work conference in December last year.
China will continue to follow a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy, carry out "timely and appropriate anticipatory adjustments and fine-tuning", and make its policies "more targeted, flexible, and anticipatory", according to the report.
"To achieve steady growth, we will continue to expand domestic demand and keep foreign demand stable, vigorously develop the real economy, work hard to counter the impact of various factors of instability and uncertainty at home and abroad, promptly resolve emerging issues that signal unfavorable trends, and maintain stable economic performance," reads the report.
The Chinese government has set the aim to hold this year's consumer price growth at around 4 percent. The country's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 4.5 percent year-on-year in January, down from a 37-month high of 6.5 percent in July last year.