Premier Li Keqiang has played down the importance of hitting Beijing’s stated annual growth goal of 7% ahead of Monday’s opening of a Chinese Communist Party meeting to set the agenda for the country’s next five-year economic blueprint, The Financial Times reported, citing a quote published on the central government’s website. “We have never said that we should defend to the death any goal, but that the economy should operate within a reasonable range,” Li said in a speech to the Central Party School. He and others in the party have long argued for a departure from strict numerical goals retained from the country’s Soviet-style planned economy.
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