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China's economy will open up like never before: Xi Jinping

President Xi Jinping has vowed to open up China like never before as the world's second-largest economy faces dwindling foreign exchange reserves and rising competition from countries like India for foreign investment.

China has been trying several measures to keep the economy floating and struggling to keep the growth rate steady. It has moderated its economic growth forecast for 2017 to "around 6.5 per cent" from the 6.7-7 per cent it had targeted last year. This year's target is below expectations and signals China is likely to embrace risk-control over short-term growth. Last year, however, it achieved a full-year growth of 6.7 per cent. That figure was the weakest since the 1990s.

Xi, who has emerged as China's most powerful leader in recent years and who is nearing the end of his first term in office, told lawmakers yesterday that China's opening door will not close, vowing that the country will continue to open up on all fronts and continue to liberalise, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.

His remarks - made during a panel discussion with lawmakers from Shanghai at the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) - assume significance as China has been loosening its grip on foreign capital inflows and reducing restrictive measures and opening more sectors.

Yesterday, Premier Li Keqiang delivering a government work report detailed "unprecedented" opening-up measures to the outside world under its flagship 'Made in China' initiative.

Change in currency policy likely

China has hinted at changing its long-standing yuan policy to liberalise its currency against the dollar, signalling willingness to alter course on exchange rates amid US President Donald Trump's threats of a trade war.

For the first time in an annual government report, China included the requirement to ensure the stable global status of yuan as one of its major tasks, dropping the line "keeping a stable yuan at a reasonable and balanced level" which was included in the previous three reports, South China Morning Post reported on Monday.
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