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Preliminary figures show that China’s economy grew 7.4 percent in 2014 from the previous year — its slowest growth in 24 years. As China’s slowdown becomes clear, the country’s leadership is shifting its focus to improving the quality and efficiency of the economy. This is a rational approach since the stability of the world’s second-largest economic power will be crucial to preventing confusion and turbulence in the global economy. Chinese President Xi Jinping should push reforms in earnest to create a sound and equitable economic system based on market principles — a prerequisite for stable growth.

China’s economic growth in 2014 was lower than 2013’s 7.7 percent rise and fell short of the official target of 7.5 percent — the first time that the nation missed the official target in its gross domestic product since 1998, a year after its economy was impacted by the Asian currency crisis. It also represents the lowest growth since 1990, when the economy grew only 3.8 percent in the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident.

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