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China premier says 7% growth goal was never cast in stone

Economic difficulties ahead for country should not be underestimated, adds Li Keqiang

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"We have never said that we should defend to the death any goal, but that the economy should operate within a reasonable range," says Mr Li.

Beijing

CHINA has never said the economy must grow 7 per cent this year, Premier Li Keqiang said in comments reported by the government ahead of a key meeting this week that will set economic and social targets for the next five years.

Mr Li's comments coincide with remarks by a

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