Beijing's 2020 goal of at least 6.5% growth

A man cycles past Beijing's Tiananmen Gate on a sunny day in the morning, August 22, 2015. © Jason Lee
Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday the country’s annual growth should be no less than 6.5 percent over the next five years, which is slightly below the current seven percent growth.

The announcement comes as the country is developing its 13th five-year economic plan.

On Sunday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said average growth of more than 6.5 percent is needed to meet the goal of achieving a “moderately prosperous” society by 2020.

Beijing has targeted doubling its 2010 gross domestic product and per capita income by 2020. To realize the goal, China should maintain medium-high growth for the next five years.

"Maintaining a medium-to-high level of growth is conducive to improving people's livelihoods so that they can truly benefit from the success of the country in comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society,” Xi Jinping was cited as saying by the Xinhua News Agency.

The President detailed that in order to reach the development goal, China should focus not only on growth pace but on growth volume and quality as well.

According to the new plan, China is set to promote the yuan and to change the way it manages its currency policy. The country is pushing hard for the yuan’s inclusion in the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket. Recently, the fund signaled that could happen in the near future.

The policymakers also said China will continue opening up the economy to attract foreign investment and encourage Chinese firms to invest overseas. They also vowed to narrow the income gap in the next five years and deepen household registration reforms to allow more rural residents to live and work in the cities.

The Chinese government has ramped up efforts this year to support the slowing economy and falling stock market. The country’s real economy was cooling, with factory activity in October at the lowest level since 2009.