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(News Focus) Xi Jinping to strive for China's strong economic growth
By Kim Young-gyo
BEIJING, Nov. 15 (Yonhap) -- Xi Jinping, the newly elected Chinese leader, will make great efforts to sustain China's strong economic growth, financial experts predicted Thursday.

   China announced earlier on Thursday Xi has become the chief of the ruling Communist Party, implying he will also be named the country's president next spring.

   The announcement garnered a keen interest globally, as the expected 10-year tenure of China's new incoming top national leader will allow structural changes that affect the world economy and business.

   Standard & Poor's (S&P) said that China's new leadership will work to maintain annual economic growth of above 7 percent in the next five to 10 years.

   "Strong sustained economic growth would lead to further gains in Chinese income, wealth and efficiency to increase its buffer against potential economic or financial shocks," said Kim Eng Tan, an analyst at S&P.

   "Efforts to deepen reforms in the financial system and the state-owned enterprise sector are likely to continue in order to achieve this relatively strong growth."

   The Chinese central government will introduce a more transparent and sustainable financing system in supporting local investment projects, the S&P analyst expected.

   An increased emphasis will be made on narrowing income disparity and rebalancing the economic growth structure, in a bid to ease social tension and provide more flexible options for policy makers, he said.
Deutsche Bank said Xi made clear in his first speech after being elected that the reform of the existing system is on the top of the agenda for the new leadership.

   "These statements sent a very encouraging message that the new leaders view reforms as vital to the survival of the party and for the continued economic prosperity of the country," said Jun Ma, chief economist at Deutsche Bank.

   "We believe reforms will accelerate under the new leadership."

   He also said the overall direction of financial sector liberalization is unlikely to be altered, regardless of who becomes the top economic policy makers.

   China's new government will be formed in February or March.