At the opening of its annual parliament session, China has announced a growth target of 7.5% and plans to raise its defense budget by 12.2%.
China’s PM Li Keqiang said that economic development was the central task of the government, but “painful structural adjustments” were needed.
Japan voiced concern at the defense move, citing a “lack of transparency”.
Li Keqiang also pledged to “declare war” on pollution, fight corruption “without mercy”, and “crack down” on terrorism.
The congress marks one year since Xi Jinping was confirmed as president.
The 10-day meeting of around 3,000 legislators from delegations across China began on Wednesday.
As parliament opened PM Li Keqiang presented a work report highlighting targets for China’s economy this year.
He said that the government’s “work got off to a good start” but admitted that “there are still many problems that people are unhappy about”.
According to the speech, the government will aim to keep inflation at about 3.5%, while boosting domestic growth and carrying out “people-centred urbanization”.
The growth and inflation targets were widely expected. The growth rate target in 2013 was also 7.5%.
Correspondents say the fact that the growth target for 2014 has not changed will lead some to question how serious China is about embracing economic reforms, which would involve lowering the growth rate.
Implementing reforms to tackle local government debt was also expected to be a priority.
The latest military budget boost comes amid tensions between China and many of its neighbors, including Japan and the Philippines, over disputed territories.
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