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China lowers 2015 economic growth target to around 7 percent

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BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- China targeted economic growth of approximately 7 percent in 2015, lower than the goal of around 7.5 percent in 2014, according to a government work report to be delivered by Premier Li Keqiang at the parliament's annual session Thursday.

The growth target for 2015 is also lower than the 7.4-percent economic growth rate registered in 2014, its weakest annual expansion since 1990.

"Over the past year, the international and domestic environments faced by China in its development have been complicated and challenging. The road to global economic recovery has been rough, with many ups and downs, and the performance of the major economies has been divergent," noted the report.

"Downward pressure on China's economy has continued to mount, and we have faced an array of interwoven difficulties and challenges," it added.

In the 35 years between 1978 and 2013, annual growth of the Chinese economy averaged close to 10 percent. However, the "good old days" had to end, with growth decelerating to 7.7 percent in 2012 and 2013.

The target growth rate of approximately 7 percent "takes into consideration what is needed and what is possible. This target is both aligned with our goal of finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and is appropriate in terms of the need to grow and upgrade our economy," according to the report.

"If China's economy can grow at this rate for a relatively long time, we will secure a more solid material foundation for modernization," it said.

Editor: Xiang Bo

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