China premier warns 2023 growth target 'no easy task'


Published: 2023-03-13 11:33

Last Updated: 2024-04-14 18:00

China premier warns 2023 growth target 'no easy task'
China premier warns 2023 growth target 'no easy task'

China's new premier warned Monday that the country's five percent growth target for 2023 will not be "easy" to achieve, as its rubber-stamp parliament wrapped up over a week of meetings.

The government set the economic growth target of "around five percent" this month, one of the lowest in decades as China emerged from strict zero-Covid rules that dragged on its GDP.

And Li Qiang -- one of Chinese President Xi Jinping's most trusted allies, confirmed as premier over the weekend -- admitted that goal would not be easy.

"I'm afraid that reaching our growth target of around five percent will be no easy task, and will require that we redouble our efforts," Li said at a press conference in Beijing held to mark the closing of the rubber-stamp National People's Congress.

China posted just three percent growth last year, missing its stated target of around 5.5 percent by a wide margin as the economy strained under the impact of strict Covid policies and a property crisis.

Li said Monday that the modest figure "has been determined after a comprehensive consideration of various factors".

He warned of "many new challenges" to growth, but added that most people "don't fix their sights every day" on the country's growth figures.

Instead, he said, they care more about "specific issues close to them" such as housing, employment, income, education and health.