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Chinese Premier Li Qiang bows after delivering the work report at the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 5, 2024.

REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

The truth behind China’s growth facade

Chinese Premier Li Qiang announced on Tuesday at the annual Two Sessions meeting that Beijing would seek to grow its economy by about 5% in 2024. China will also aim to create 12 million new urban jobs and keep inflation around 3%.

While it seems ambitious, Rick Waters, managing director for China at Eurasia Group, says Beijing will hit 5% – by hook or by crook.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) converses with Premier Li Qiang on the first day of a weeklong meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's top political advisory body, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 4, 2024.

Kyodo via Reuters Connect

China’s Two Sessions: It’s a Xi show

On Monday, Beijing scrapped a closing press conference for its annual “Two Sessions” meeting of its rubber-stamp parliament, pausing a three-decade long annual tradition for China’s premier (the No. 2 guy). That means the foreign press will lose a rare chance to speak to Premier Li Qiang, one of China’s most powerful people.

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A woman passes by a giant monitor showing the "Two Sessions" in Beijing, China.

Ichiro Ohara/The Yomiuri Shimbun via Reuters Connect

Why is China’s economic growth target so meh?

Dissecting an annual GDP growth target is what economics nerds dream of. For the rest of us, it's instant melatonin.

But if that target comes from the world's most populous nation, second-largest economy, and top exporter, perhaps you should pay attention.

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