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China’s Li Walks Knife Edge on Growth as ‘Graver’ Risks Loom

  • Expansion target set at ‘around 6.5%, or higher if possible’
  • Premier cites global risk of protectionism and deglobalization

Premier Li Keqiang struck an upbeat note on China’s slowing expansion and rising debt Sunday even as he flagged the specter of "graver" internal and external challenges ahead.

Systemic risk is under control and economic fundamentals remain sound enough for the government to set a 2017 growth target of "around 6.5 percent, or higher if possible," Li said in his work report to the annual National People’s Congress gathering in Beijing. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg project 6.5 percent expansion this year.