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Chinese Premier confident about economy

The Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, has expressed confidence about the economy this year, also acknowledging the potential for downward pressures, Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

Speaking on Monday at the opening ceremony of the 2016 edition of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions – an event organised by the World Economic Forum and this year held in Tianjin – he remarked that the Chinese economy “is being optimised” and that the quality of growth “is improving”.

Despite weak external demand, and sluggish investment in the private sector and in manufacturing; Premier Li said China would not experience what economists refer to as a ‘hard landing’.

“We are optimistic about the economy now and in the future,” Mr Li said. “We can deliver the major economic and social development targets set for 2016.”

Chinese leaders had earlier this year set the official range for economic growth during 2016 at between 6.5 percent and 7 percent. In the first quarter of 2016, China’s economy expanded by 6.7 percent year-on-year, the slowest pace in a quarter since the global financial crisis in 2009.