China’s number two leader Li Keqiang has warned the country faces “a tough struggle,” as he laid out plans to prop up the world’s second-largest economy.
Opening the annual session of China’s parliament, he forecast slower growth of 6% – 6.5% this year, down from a target of around 6.5% in 2018.
China has struggled with a slowing economy and a US-led trade war.
It plans to boost spending, increase foreign firms’ access to its markets, and cut billions of dollars in taxes.
“In pursuing development this year, we will face a graver and more complicated environment as well as risks and challenges… that are greater in number and size,” Mr Li said in a lengthy speech.
“We must be fully prepared for a tough struggle.”
Mr Li told 3,000 delegates at the National People’s Congress that China would aim to deliver nearly 2 trillion yuan ($298bn; £227bn) of cuts in taxes and other company fees.
A value-added tax (VAT) for transportation and construction sectors will be sliced from 10% to 9%, and VAT for manufacturers will fall from 16% to 13%, he said.
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