China's National Parliament opened its annual session in Beijing on Thursday morning, with Premier Li Keqiang presenting a work report on the government's priorities this year and the keenly anticipated economic growth target for 2015.
Here are some key points of China's work report for this year:
1. China has set its growth target at about 7 per cent this year - the lowest in more than a decade.
2. China has raised its defence Budget by 10.1 per cent to 887 billion yuan (S$193.4 billion), lower than the 12.2 per cent increase last year, but still a double-digit increase, maintaining a nearly two-decade run of double-digit increases in military spending.
3. Mr Li pledged to fight pollution, calling it a "blight on people's quality of life". The National Development and Reform Commision report said that it would implement measure to cut consumption of coal and other polluting fossil fuels, encourage the using of cleaner fuels like natural gas, and aggressively develop renewable wind, solar and biofuel energy sources. However, it would also try to turn the loss-making coal sector around.
4. Mr Li also said the government will eradicate the breeding grounds for corruption, vowing to tighten government supervision and auditing over public funds, resources and state-owned assets. He added that the tough stance on corruption was "here to stay" and it would target all levels of officials.
5. China will aim to cut energy intensity - the amount of energy used per unit of gross domestic product growth - by 3.1 per cent in 2015.
6. Mr Li said the government would also lower its 2015 inflation target to around 3 per cent from 3.5 per cent in 2014.
7. Mr Li said China would push ahead with reforms of state-owned enterprises and move to liberalise its banking system, with the goal of restructuring the economy to boost consumption at the expense of exports and investment.
8. As part of these financial reforms, China will link the Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock markets. A similar scheme with Shanghai’s bourse was launched last year.
9. China aims to create more than 10 million new jobs this year, and ensure the jobless rate does not exceed 4.5 per cent.
10. Beijing affirmed its support for the development of Hong Kong and Macau, and encouraged cooperation between the regions and the mainland.
Sources: Reuters, Agence-France Presse, Xinhua, Straits Times archives