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Beijing - 17 April 2018
1. Wide of news conference
2. Journalists at news conference
3. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Xing Zhihong, spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics:
"The economic performance continued to improve, and the economy was off to a good start. According to preliminary estimates, the gross domestic product (GDP) of China was 19,878.3 billion yuan (3164.28 billion US dollars) in the first quarter of 2018, a year-on-year increase of 6.8 percent at comparable prices."
5. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Xing Zhihong, spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics:
"For five consecutive years, consumption has become the first driving engine of China's economy. Compared with exports and investment, consumption is much less volatile. Such a structural change of the growth is essentially important for China's economy."
6. Journalist asking a question
7. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Xing Zhihong, spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics:
"We have a lot of room to manoeuvre with policies. We are having stable and positive growth, our fiscal and financial systems are running healthily, we have the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, we have plenty of policy tools and space. Therefore, China is fully capable of responding to Sino-US trade frictions, responding to challenges and maintaining sustained and healthy economic development."
9. Wide of news conference
China's economic growth held steady in the quarter ending in March amid a worsening trade dispute with US President Donald Trump, buoyed by strong e-commerce and factory output.
The world's second-largest economy expanded by 6.8 percent over a year earlier, in line with the quarter ending in December and down slightly from 2017's full-year expansion of 6.9 percent, data showed Tuesday.
It was above the official 2018 target of "around 6.5 percent," which would be among the world's strongest if achieved.
A government spokesman expressed confidence China's US $12 trillion-a-year economy can withstand Trump's threatened tariff hikes on up to 150 billion US dollars of Chinese goods in a dispute over technology policy.
China has "room to manoeuvre" following efforts to develop more self-sustaining growth based on domestic consumption and reduce reliance on trade, said Xing Zhihong, spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics.
"China is fully capable of responding to Sino-U.S. trade frictions, responding to challenges and maintaining sustained and healthy economic development," Xing said at a news conference.
Forecasters expect Chinese growth to cool this year as Beijing tries to rein in rising debt seen as the biggest threat to economic stability by tightening controls to cool a boom in real estate sales and bank lending.
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