China has backed away from setting long-term economic growth targets, which experts say have forced Beijing to adopt aggressive monetary and fiscal stimulus that have led to a dangerous debt build-up, wasteful investment and environmental degradation. According to the Financial Times, the course correction reflects President Xi Jinping’s increased room to maneuver following a five-yearly Communist party congress in which he consolidated his political power. In a report delivered in a three-hour speech at the opening of the congress last week, Xi did not mention his previously announced goal of doubling real gross domestic product from its 2010 level by 2020, and a senior economic adviser on Thursday confirmed that the government was de-emphasizing such targets. Yang Weimin, deputy director of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Finance and Economic Affairs, said that the 2020 target remained in effect but indicated that beginning in 2021, policymakers would abandon long-term targets.
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