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China's national legislature starts annual session in Beijing

(Xinhua)    08:34, March 05, 2018

The first session of the 13th National People's Congress opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 5, 2018. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- The 13th National People's Congress, China's national legislature, opened its first session Monday morning at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders attended the opening meeting, at which Premier Li Keqiang is delivering a government work report.

Highlights from Premier Li's government work report:

China sets 2018 GDP growth target at around 6.5 pct

China has set its GDP growth target at around 6.5 percent for 2018, unchanged from that for 2017, according to a government work report available to the media on Monday.

China to cut steel capacity by 30 mln tonnes, coal by 150 mln tonnes in 2018

China will cut ineffective steel capacity of 30 million tonnes and coal capacity of 150 million tonnes in 2018, according to a government work report available to media before the annual parliamentary session Monday morning.

Meanwhile, coal-fired power generating units with a capacity of less than 300,000 kilowatts that fail to meet standards will be closed this year, according to the report to be delivered at the first session of the 13th National People's Congress.

China to start to construct 5.8 mln units of houses in rundown urban areas

China will launch a new three-year renovation plan to address housing in rundown urban areas, starting with construction of 5.8 million units this year, according to a government work report.

"People's housing needs will be better addressed this year," said the report Monday.

China to scrap domestic data roaming charges

China will abolish domestic data roaming fees to cut cost for increasingly digital Chinese consumers, a government work report said Monday.

Rates for mobile internet services will be cut by at least 30 percent this year, according to the report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang Monday morning at the opening of the first session of the 13th National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

China scrapped domestic roaming fees for long-distance calls last year as telecom operators turn to mobile Internet services for business growth.

"China will do more to speed up broadband and bring down Internet rates, achieve high-speed broadband access in both urban and rural areas, and make free Internet access available in more public places," said the document.

China to lift over 10 mln people out of poverty in 2018

China will further reduce the poor rural population by over 10 million, including 2.8 million people who are to be relocated from inhospitable areas, Premier Li Keqiang said Monday.

Poverty alleviation efforts will be carried on through the development of local industries, education, and healthcare, Li said when delivering a government work report at the annual parliamentary session.

China will do more to support areas affected by extreme poverty, and the central budget's newly enlarged poverty reduction funds and related transfer payments will be weighted toward these areas.

China delivers 2-trln-yuan tax cut via VAT reform

China has reduced taxes for enterprises by more than 2 trillion yuan (about 315.2 billion U.S. dollars) via its reform to replace business tax with value-added tax (VAT), Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Monday.

Together with measures like preferential tax policies for small low-profit businesses and an overhaul of different types of fees, Chinese market entities have seen savings of more than 3 trillion yuan in the past five years, said Premier Li when delivering a government work report at the opening of the annual parliamentary session.

As the most significant tax overhaul for two decades, VAT is replacing business tax which has been in place for 60 years, streamlining procedure, and avoiding repetitive taxing. It was piloted in Shanghai in 2012 and expanded nationwide in May 2016.

China to cut taxes by over 800 bln yuan in 2018

China will reduce taxes on businesses and individuals by more than 800 billion yuan (about 126 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018, Premier Li Keqiang said Monday.

China will prioritize lowering rates in manufacturing and transportation, and raise the threshold for annual sales revenue for small-scale taxpayers, said Li when delivering a government report at the first session of the 13th National People's Congress.

Far greater numbers of small low-profit businesses will see their income tax halved, and the ceilings on deductible business purchases of instruments and equipment will be significantly raised, Li said.

China to make greater progress in addressing pollution: premier

China will cut sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions by 3 percent and achieve a continuous decline in PM2.5 density in key areas, Premier Li Keqiang said Monday when delivering a government work report at the annual parliamentary session.

China will encourage upgrading in the steel and other industries to achieve ultra-low emissions, and continue efforts to prevent and control water and soil pollution, Li said.

This year, chemical oxygen demand and ammonia nitrogen emissions will be cut by 2 percent, he said.

China fully capable of forestalling systemic risks: premier

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday expressed strong confidence in the nation's ability to prevent systemic risks.

"We are fully capable of forestalling systemic risks," Li said in a government work report delivered to the first session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), citing sound fundamentals of the Chinese economy and the many policy tools at disposal.

China's economic and financial risks are on the whole manageable, Li said. "What China needs to do is to tackle both symptoms and root causes and take effective measures to defuse potential risks," he said.

Li vowed serious crackdown on activities that violate the law like illegal fundraising and financial fraud.

Premier vows no tolerance of "Taiwan independence"

Premier Li Keqiang vowed no tolerance of any separatist scheme or activity for "Taiwan independence" in a government work report to the national legislature.

"We will remain firm in safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Li said when delivering the report to the opening meeting of the first session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) Monday morning.

Upholding the one-China principle, the Chinese mainland will continue to promote peaceful development of cross-Strait relations on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, and advance China's peaceful reunification, he said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

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