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China to push reforms in 2017, financial risks rising: Xinhua
December 9, 2016 / 9:47 AM / a year ago

China to push reforms in 2017, financial risks rising: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will forge ahead with supply-side reforms next year to deal with overcapacity and structural problems, while also moving to boost demand, the Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

Top leaders are due to map out an economic and reform agenda for 2017 during an annual Central Economic Work Conference later this month.

“The economy still faces many outstanding contradictions and problems, excess capacity and structural upgrading contradictions remain prominent,” Xinhua said, citing a statement after a meeting of the Politburo, a top decision-making body of the ruling Communist Party.

“Financial risks in some areas are emerging and some regions face relatively big difficulties. We should attach great importance to these issues and try to solve them.”

China will push state sector reforms and fiscal reforms, and establish long-term mechanisms to promote the healthy development of the property sector, Xinhua said.

Premier Li Keqiang said earlier this week that China will reach its key economic targets this year, which will lay a good foundation for 2017.

Growing debt and property risks have touched off an internal debate about whether China should tolerate slower growth in 2017 to allow more room for painful reforms aimed at reducing industrial overcapacity and indebtedness.

The government has said growth of at least 6.5 percent is needed each year through to 2020 to meet a previously stated goal of doubling gross domestic product and per capita income by then, from 2010 levels.

The government aims for 6.5-7.0 percent growth this year.

China will also further open its economy in 2017 and work to attract foreign investment, Xinhua said.

President Xi Jinping told the meeting that he was certain that China would meet its key economic targets for 2016, Xinhua said.

China’s economy has performed better than many analysts expected this year, supported by higher government infrastructure spending and a housing market boom that is starting to show signs of fatigue.

Xi also said China will also strengthen its national security.

Reporting by China monitoring desk and Kevin Yao; Editing by Sam Holmes and Kim Coghill

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