China scraps annual economic growth target for first time
Addis Ababa, May 22, 2020 (FBC) – Prime Minister Li Keqiang, while opening the country’s annual parliament meeting, said China will not set an economic growth goal for this year as it deals with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
It is the first time Beijing has not had a gross domestic product (GDP) target since 1990 when records began, it is stated.
Chinese economy, the world’s second, shrank by 6.8% in the first quarter from a year ago as lockdowns paralysed businesses.
“This is because our country will face some factors that are difficult to predict in its development due to the great uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and the world economic and trade environment,” Premier Li said.
The country’s leadership has promised to boost economic support measures amid growing concerns that rising unemployment could threaten social stability.
The move comes as tensions between Beijing and Washington are becoming increasingly strained over the coronavirus pandemic, trade and Hong Kong.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump stepped up his attacks on China, suggesting that the country’s leader, Xi Jinping, is behind a “disinformation and propaganda attack on the United States and Europe.”