(171024) -- AMMAN, Oct. 24, 2017 (Xinhua) -- China's Deputy Minister of Commerce Qian Keming (L) shakes hands with Jordan's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury on the signing ceremony of the Programme for Development, Economic and Technical Cooperation between China and Jordan for the years 2018-2020, in Amman, Jordan, Oct. 23, 2017. (Xinhua/Lin Xiaowei) (zcc)

INTERNATIONAL - China will not set a target to double gross domestic product (GDP) from 2021, a senior Communist Party official said yesterday, as top leaders pledge to focus on better quality economic growth in the long term. 

Yang Weimin, vice-minister in the Office of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs, told a media briefing that the government will not solely pursue economic expansion and will emphasise the quality of its growth.

A shift away from ambitious long-term government growth targets would be a departure from past practice in China and mark a new strategy for longer-term economic development.

It could also give Chinese policy-makers more room in theory to press ahead with painful, structural reforms. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and many economists have urged Beijing to do away with or lower official growth targets altogether to reduce the country’s long reliance on debt-fuelled stimulus and encourage more productive investment.

The IMF warned this year that China’s credit growth was on a “dangerous trajectory” and called for “decisive action”. China is well on track to hit its goal of doubling GDP and per capita income by 2020 from its 2010 levels, a performance which has given the global economy a solid boost since the financial crisis.