BEIJING | China sets 2019 economic growth target at 6 to 6.5 percent

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government has trimmed this year’s economic growth target to a relatively robust 6 to 6.5 percent amid a tariff battle with Washington and a slowdown in global growth.

The growth target announced Tuesday at the opening of the ceremonial national legislature is down slightly from 2018’s three-decade low growth of 6.6 percent. But it would be among the world’s strongest expansions if achieved.

The announcement comes amid a tariff battle with Washington and slowing global demand for Chinese exports.

The finance ministry also said the country’s defense budget this year will rise 7.5 percent.

Chinese authorities are expected to use the congress to highlight measures intended to support economic growth. Legislators also are due to endorse a change in rules on technology in response to U.S. and European pressure.

By Associated Press