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Representatives gather on the stages at the Great Hall of the People as the National People's Congress opens on March 5. in 2016 (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

The case for breaking with Beijing's growth target tradition

Lofty goals lead to fudged data, excessive investment, chronic pollution

HIROSHI MURAYAMA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

TOKYO -- It is nearly target-setting time again in China. The National People's Congress is due to convene in March, and it is customary for the premier to announce the government's desired economic growth rate for the year. Ambitious goals, however, may be more trouble than they are worth.

Some of the ills that plague China can be traced back to its lofty targets. Examples include excessive investment by local governments and fudging of economic statistics. 

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