UPDATE 11.30am: China is targeting economic growth of 7.5 per cent in 2013 and has vowed to fight corruption as the world's second-biggest economy and most crucial for WA opened its annual parliament session.
The GDP figure was contained in Premier Wen Jiabao's “work report”, his opening address to about 3000 delegates from across the country at the National People's Congress, China's rubber-stamp parliament.
Wen, who is coming to the end of a decade in office, bowed deeply to the delegates arrayed under a giant red star in Beijing's Great Hall of the People before beginning his farewell speech, which was 29 pages long in English.
The government also laid down another double-digit rise in military spending, continuing the modernisation of the world's largest standing army at a time of mounting territorial tensions in Asia.
The NPC is meeting for nearly two weeks in Beijing and will seal a power transfer to Li Keqiang as Wen's successor in charge of day-to-day government, and Communist Party supremo Xi Jinping as state president.
Heading into the NPC, China's new leaders have raised expectations with a deluge of propaganda during their first four months running the Communist Party, with pledges of cleaner government and greater devotion to people's livelihoods.
"We should unwaveringly combat corruption, strengthen political integrity ... and ensure that officials are honest, government is clean and political affairs are handled with integrity,” said Wen's prepared text.
The wealth of party leaders at all levels has become a burning issue in China, with foreign media reports last year focussing on the riches accrued by the families of Xi and Wen themselves.
Outside the hall, ordinary citizens were sceptical about the government's pledges.
"If delegates do not care for the people then there is never any chance of progress with political reform in the future,” said a 60-year-old woman surnamed Lu, who was on her way to one of the capital's parks.
Another pensioner, Xian Lan, added: “What is the point of all these wasteful, expensive meetings when there are so many poor people in China?”
China's economy is seen as a key driver of the global recovery, but has struggled in the face of weakness at home and in key overseas markets, with Europe assailed by its debt crisis and US growth remaining anaemic.
It grew 7.8 per cent in 2012, its worst performance for 13 years, but normally exceeds the target set at the NPC.
"We deem it necessary and appropriate to set this year's target for economic growth at about 7.5 per cent, a goal that we will have to work hard to attain,” Wen's said in his speech.
"China is still under considerable inflationary pressure this year,” he added.
His report set this year's inflation target at 3.5 per cent, after it came in at 2.6 per cent in 2012.
"We should energetically change the growth model,” Wen also said, amid demands that China revamp its investment and export-led growth in favour of domestic spending.
A separate government document laid down a 10.7 per cent rise in defence spending to 720.2 billion yuan ($A114.20 billion) in 2013.China's military budgets have risen steadily in recent years, and experts say the actual totals are usually substantially higher than the publicly announced figures.
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