6.8% Growth, Military Reform, Service Jobs: Eye on Chinese Media

China’s economy is likely to expand by 6.8 percent from a year ago in the first quarter of this year as production activity and investment pick up, the state-run China Daily reported, citing a government think tank. First half growth may be 6.7 percent, matching the full year expansion last year, according to the National Academy of Economic Strategy, which also cautioned policy makers to guard against risks in the property and financial sectors. China’s leaders this month set full-year growth target of "around 6.5 percent, or higher if possible."

Elsewhere:

  • The military launched an education campaign to "establish and uphold" President Xi Jinping as the "core" of the Communist Party, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Defense and military reforms require more consensus, and the military must uphold the authority of the CPC Central Committee and Xi, who also leads the military, under all circumstances, Xinhua reported.
  • Surveyed unemployment rates in 31 of China’s major cities remained at about 5.1 percent between 2012 and 2016, Xinhua reported, citing the National Statistics Bureau. The services sector accounted for 43.5 percent of total employment last year, up from 36.1 percent in 2012. The new economy accounted for about 70 percent of new jobs.
  • China unveiled an environmental plan Wednesday to curb air pollution in the northern region surrounding the capital, Xinhua reported. The plan puts 28 cities in and around the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region under tighter restrictions on their coal, cement, steel and other smokestack industries to help curb the smog that often blankets the region. The Ministry of Environmental Protection posted the curbs in a statement dated March 23 on its website.

— With assistance by Miao Han

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