China abandons GDP target for first time in years amid 'great uncertainty' of virus squib

Premier Le Keqiang tell annual congress that economic growth was ‘difficult to predict’ and says nation must ‘tighten its belt’

China has abandoned setting a target for GDP growth for the first time in decades, citing “great uncertainty” caused by the coronavirus pandemic in an acknowledgement of its economic struggles.

Instead Beijing will “give priority to stabilising employment and ensuring living standards”, the premier, Li Keqiang, told the gathered members of the Chinese Communist party at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Friday.

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