(Yicai Global) Jan. 11 -- China's economy expanded by about 6.9 percent last year, according to Premier Li Keqiang, exceeding a 6.5 percent forecast he made at the National People's Congress in March.
The government's ongoing supply-side reforms and regulatory innovations are behind the higher figure, rather than reliance on economic stimulus, state-run news agency Xinhua cited Li as saying at a meeting in Cambodia today.
The world's second-largest economy continued to improve steadily last year, Li said, adding that unemployment hit new lows in major cities and the foreign trade sector snapped a two-year losing streak. Fiscal revenues, people's incomes and corporate profits all rose significantly and the bond, stock and real estate markets remained stable, he said. Foreign reserves continued to increase and corporate leverage fell, he added.
China will offer 2,000 short-term research and in-service education opportunities and 100 four-year undergraduate scholarships for people from countries along the Mekong River this year to boost ties between those nations, Li said. The Mekong flows through China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
The premier also appealed to government heads attending the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders' Meeting in Phnom Penh to promote cooperation across up- and downstream businesses and consider the needs of different countries, and asked them to draw up a five-year plan to collaborate in resource development and focus on sustainable use of the region's water.