China stabilizing GDP growth, prioritizing reform
China is on track to have its lowest GDP-growth in over a decade this year, and next year won't be much different.
Aiming for a more sustainable economy that allows for "quality growth," as state news agency Xinhua puts it, the Chinese government has decided to aim for 7.5% growth in 2014, the same as this year.
Some think-tanks had advised even lower targets for next year.
Leaders reached this decision at China's annual Central Economic Work Conference earlier this month.
The target is considered a compromise between two competing forces: The need for reforms and the need for growth, Reuters reports.
"Two camps who proposed growth target – 7 percent or 7.5 percent – made their points. But the government favors 7.5 percent," an anonymous Chinese economist told Reuters.
The South China Morning Post reports that reforms will be a "top priority" next year, but that these steps will be "conducive to growth."
Meanwhile, China's commerce ministry's think tank predicts that exports may grow by at least 10% next year thanks to improving economic conditions in many countries.
Exports are already rising: Overseas shipments gained 12.7% this November compared with the same month last year, pushing China's trade surplus to its highest in more than four years, according to Bloomberg.
China – the world's most prolific exporter – is the biggest coal, iron ore, rare earths, and gold producer on earth.