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China People's Congress

China sets post-pandemic growth target at 'around 5%'

Defense spending boost flagged as National People's Congress kicks off

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5. (Photo by Yusuke Hinata)

BEIJING -- China set this year's growth target at "around 5%" as the National People's Congress (NPC) kicked off Sunday, in a cautious forecast after the pandemic-hit economy posted one of its weakest expansions in decades.

The impact of strict COVID-19 controls, a property market downturn and sagging exports took their toll on the world's No. 2 economy, which last year grew just 3%, marking one of its slowest rates since the mid-Seventies and well below an official 5.5% target.

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