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Xi's promise of 'quality growth' for China will have to wait

Leadership meeting signals economic stability will remain priority over reform

| China
Beijing seems committed to growth targets such as doubling GDP and personal income, not eager for potentially disruptive reforms.   © Reuters

To the disappointment of those calling for radical policy change, China looks set to steer a steady course on economic policy in 2018, based on the outcome of this month's top-level strategy meeting.

The Central Economic Work Conference that ended on Dec. 20 signaled the priority for the government in 2018 will be maintaining economic stability and reducing risks. Many observers had expected a different message after President Xi Jinping's declaration at the Communist Party Congress in October that the government must shift its focus to prioritizing quality growth over rapid economic expansion. No mention was made then of long-standing targets of doubling the size of the economy and per capita income by 2020 from 2010 levels, which, for some observers, suggested a new flexibility about economic growth levels.

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