BEIJING: China can cut its economic growth target to 7 per cent next year without hurting its labour market, the World Bank (WB) said on Wednesday even as it urged Beijing to get rid of rigid growth objectives.

At its thrice-yearly review of the Chinese economy, the World Bank warned China against carrying its “ambitious” 2014 economic growth target of 7.5pc into next year, saying that such a move would detract from the government’s reform plans. After 30 years of breakneck, double-digit economic expansion that lifted millions of Chinese from abject poverty but also polluted the nation’s air, land and waterways, China wants to retool its economy to generate slower but better-quality growth.

“Our policy message is the focus should be on reforms rather than meeting specific growth targets,” Karlis Smits, a senior economist at the bank, told reporters at a media briefing.

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