China continues focus on supply-side reform

China will continue to implement supply-side reform this year focusing on cutting overcapacity and fending off financial risks, the minister overseeing the nation’s top economic regulator said on Tuesday.

National Development and Reform Commission minister Xu Shaoshi said that despite economic downward pressure and external uncertainties, the Chinese economy has not lost its growth momentum.

He said economic growth in 2016 is expected to be 6.7 percent.

“China has not adopted massive stimulus measures to achieve such growth,” Xu said.

He added that the performance over the last year was in contrast to speculative comments that China’s economy would see a hard landing or collapse.

Consumption contributed 71 percent of economic growth in the first three quarters, up 13 percentage points compared to the same time last year, according to Xu.

Xu said the economic growth target set for this year would reflect expectations but not be binding.

His comments were in line with the tone set at the Central Economic Work Conference held in late December.

The conference put more emphasis on reducing financial risks, rather than simply achieving the growth target.

Commenting on progress made in five major economic tasks this year, Xu said “initial results” have been achieved and various efforts are well underway.

The major tasks include cutting overcapacity in coal and steel, reducing housing inventory, lowering leverage, cutting corporate costs and improving weak economic links.

Xu said efforts to cut overcapacity this year would be extended to other industries with excess capacity.

Plans for cutting overcapacity this year are expected to be released this month before the Spring Festival holiday break, according to Xu.