China growth beats forecasts in face of trade row, financial risk [Radio Pakistan] 17 Apr, 2018

China's economy grew more than expected in the first quarter as it withstood headwinds from Beijing's fight against financial risk and pollution, and trade tensions with the United States.While acknowledging the potential negative impact of US trade war officials on Tuesday warned the country faced greater downside risk at home, citing the need for reforms.The world's number two economy expanded 6.8 percent in January-March, better than the 6.7 percent tipped in an AFP survey of economists and the same as the previous three months.It is also much better than the annual rate of around 6.5 percent targeted by the government.Growth remained resilient even as Beijing kicked its war on smog into a high gear during the winter months by cutting production for many steel smelters, mills and factories."The national economy maintained the momentum of steady and sound development," said Xing Zhihong, a spokesman for the National Statistics Bureau. "The economic performance continued to improve and the economy was off to a good start."Fears of a China-US trade war have been simmering in recent weeks, with Washington and Beijing exchanging threats of tit-for-tat levies on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods.US President Donald Trump has issued the warnings as part of his "America First" protectionist agenda that has focused on what he calls unfair practices by China that are killing American jobs.Last week his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping sounded a conciliatory note, promising to reduce tariffs on cars and open up the economy further.China's economy grew more than expected in the first quarter inspite of financial risk, pollution and trade tensions with the United States.A spokesman for the National Statistics Bureau Xing Zhihong said in Beijing that the world's number two economy expanded 6.8 percent in January-March. He said national economy also maintained the momentum of steady and sound development. AFP/APP

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