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China Meets All Annual Development Goals for 2017

China has met all its annual development targets set in last year's government work report, the State Council said on February 28.

The 36 quantitative goals for 2017, including annual economic growth of around 6.5 percent, were accomplished perfectly, according to a State Council report tracking the progress of last year's government targets.

China's economy expanded 6.9 percent year on year to 82.71 trillion yuan (about $12.8 trillion) in 2017, higher than the 6.7-percent growth registered in 2016, official data showed.

In 2017, 13.51 million new jobs were created in urban areas, with the unemployment rate standing at 3.9 percent, outperforming the official targets of 11 million and lower than 4.5 percent.

With faster economic expansion and a better employment picture, China's per capita disposable income grew 7.3 percent last year.

Meanwhile, the Engel's coefficient, which measures food expenditures as a proportion of total household spending, dropped to 29.3 percent in 2017, down from 30.1 percent in 2016.

The tax burden on businesses has been eased by more than 380 billion yuan, said the State Council, which estimated that business-related fees have been cut by some 643.4 billion yuan to benefit market entities, far overshooting the target of around 200 billion yuan.

Last year also saw the quickened pace of industrial overcapacity cuts, with the steel industry outperforming the annual target of cutting 50 million tonnes of capacity. A total of 250 million tonnes of coal production capacity was also eliminated, compared with the goal of 150 million tonnes.

A total of 6.09 million apartments in shanty towns were renovated in 2017, while 12.89 million rural people were brought out of poverty and some 285,000 km of rural roads were built or renovated, all beating annual targets.

China has also cut emissions of both sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide by 8 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively, and returned 12.3 million mu (820,000 hectares) of marginal farmland to forest or grassland.

New development targets for 2018 are expected to be released in this year's government work report during the upcoming annual sessions of the top legislative and political advisory bodies as the country seeks economic transformation toward high-quality development.

(Xinhua News Agency March 1, 2018)

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