Wen, speaking to China's ceremonial legislature, confirmed a 7.5 percent growth target in an annual economic plan. That is below the double-digit rates of the past decade but in line with Communist Party plans for a rebalancing of the world's second-largest economy away from reliance on trade and investment to drive growth.
Wen steps down next week after 10 years as China's top economic official but the goals he announced are part of a long-range plan incoming leaders under the newly installed party general secretary, Xi Jinping, are expected to adhere to.
EU pushes ahead with bonus cap despite UK concernsBRUSSELS (AP) â¿¿ Britain stood isolated against a broad majority of European Union countries Tuesday in refusing to back legislation that would strictly limit bankers' bonuses. Treasury Chief George Osborne said at a meeting of the bloc's 27 finance ministers in Brussels that Britain, home to one of the world's largest financial industries, can't support the current proposal to limit bonuses. The UK fears the cap would drive banks to set up outside Europe in the U.S. or Asia. But Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan, who chaired the ministers' meeting because his country hold the rotating EU presidency, concluded there is a "broad majority" in favor of the legislation. This gives the necessary green light for finalizing technical details toward a formal vote on the package by the ministers next month. The bonus cap is part of a sweeping 1,000-page package of financial laws that will require banks to hold more capital and liquidity reserves from next year. This is designed to shield taxpayers from having to pay for any more expensive bailouts. Those rules will implement the internationally agreed Basel III rules on banks' capital buffers and will also lay the groundwork for a single banking supervisor for the group of 17 European Union countries that use the euro.
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