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China sets lowest GDP target in decades over ‘grave’ outlook

China sets its lowest GDP target in decades, as Premier Li Keqiang warns of a “grave and uncertain” outlook against the backdrop of the coronavirus, a property slump and uncertainty over the war in Ukraine.

Li announces the unusually modest target of around 5.5 percent — the lowest since 1991 — in his speech opening the annual session of China’s rubber-stamp parliament.

Addressing about 3,000 members of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing’s cavernous Great Hall of the People, Li says the world’s second-largest economy “will encounter many more risks and challenges, and we must keep pushing to overcome them.”

The target is based on a need to maintain stable employment, basic living needs and “guard against risks,” according to his speech, which is China’s version of an annual state of the nation address.

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