Xi Jinping: China still a major "growth engine" for the world

Despite slowing economic growth, Chinese president Xi Jinping thinks China continues to be a driver of the global economy.

"China is confident it will be able to keep growth at a medium to high speed and continue to provide many opportunities for development in the world," Xi said Saturday before business leaders on the eve of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.

China "must pursue its own path of development" and necessary reforms include making bloated sectors of the economy more competitive and putting more emphasis on science and innovation, Xi said.

At the two-day summit starting Sunday, leaders of major industrialized and emerging countries will search for ways to boost the world economy amid uncertainty over issues such as Brexit and the refugee crisis.

After decades of growth at a breakneck pace, China's economy grew by only 6.9 per cent in 2015, the slowest growth in more than a quarter of a century.

The government's gross domestic product (GDP) growth target for 2016 is 6.5 to 7 per cent, which is consistent with economists' projections. 

If China meets the target as expected, the country would contribute more than a third of global GDP growth this year, according to calculations from former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia Stephen Roach. 

Xi met with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Saturday and both pledged to improve bilateral cooperation.

He will meet with United States President Barack Obama later Saturday and the two are expected to push for global efforts to curb climate change. 

Last update: Sat, 03/09/2016 - 11:58

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