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China targets 6.5-7 pct growth for 2016

China has set its official growth target for 2016 at between 6.5 percent and 7 percent, the nation’s top economic planner said on Wednesday.

“Downward pressure on economic growth still exists and will expand to some extent [in 2016],” said Xu Shaoshi, Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, in a news briefing quoted by news agency AFP.

“Business operations remain in a tough situation and risks in some areas are accumulating,” he stated. “But we are capable and confident to deal with the issues and challenges,” he added.

Last year China’s economy expanded by 6.9 percent, which was the slowest rate in 25 years.

Mr Xu added that China’s investment on infrastructure would now focus in the central and western regions of the country, as well as in the education and healthcare sectors.