The second session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) opened at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday. Policy discussions and planning will take place through March 15, setting the country's goals for 2019.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders attended the opening meeting.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivered a government work report to lawmakers.
Here are the highlights of the work report:
2018 in review:
When reviewing the government's work in 2018, Premier Li said the main economic indicators were kept within an appropriate range.
Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.6 percent, exceeding 90 trillion yuan, according to the report.
Consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose by 2.1 percent.
The country's "three tough battles" against major risks, poverty and pollution got off to a good start in 2018.
China has forestalled and defused major risks, said Li, adding that the macro-economic leverage ratio trended toward a stable level, while the financial sector was generally stable.
Precision poverty alleviation made significant progress, with the poor population in rural areas reduced by 13.86 million, including 2.8 million people assisted through relocation from inhospitable areas.
Pollution prevention and control was strengthened, and PM2.5 levels continued to fall. Marked achievements were made in ecological conservation, the report said.
Premier Li also set out China's 2019 development path in his government work report.
China has set its GDP growth target range for 2019 at 6 percent-6.5 percent, according to the work report.
China aims to maintain a consumer inflation rate of around three percent and create over 11 million new urban jobs. The surveyed urban unemployment rate is projected to stay around 5.5 percent, and the registered urban unemployment rate within 4.5 percent.
The country will continue to pursue a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy, implement an employment-first policy and strengthen coordination between these policies to keep major economic indicators within an appropriate range, according to the report.
The country will reduce the current value-added tax (VAT) rate of 16 percent for manufacturing and other industries to 13 percent, and lower the rate for such industries as transportation and construction from 10 to nine percent, according to the report.
China will create industrial Internet platforms and expand Intelligent Plus initiative to facilitate the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing sector, said the report.
In order to promote high-quality manufacturing, the report emphasized the need to strengthen the foundations of industry and boost technological innovation capability, as well as enhance the integrated development of advanced manufacturing and modernized services.
China firmly supports the fight against poverty and will provide strong support for rural development in order to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, Premier Li said.
The central government will allocate 126 billion yuan (18.7 billion U.S. dollars) to fund poverty alleviation efforts in 2019, an increase of 18.9 percent from last year. These additional funds will be mainly used in areas of extreme poverty, according to a draft budget report to be submitted to the annual session of the NPC.
China will strengthen efforts to prevent and control pollution and boost environmental protection, Li stressed.
Substantial targets have been achieved in China's battle to ensure a better environment. In recent years, the country has intensified efforts to reduce air, water and soil pollution.
"This year, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions will be cut by three percent, and there will be a continuous decline in PM2.5 density in key areas," said Li, adding that air pollution in and around the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, in the Yangtze River Delta, and in the Fenhe-Weihe River Plain area will be further curbed.
China will continue to advance military reform and technology innovation, and push ahead with military training to defend national sovereignty, security and development.
Premier Li called on local governments at all levels to support national defense and military building. He said China will push for military-civilian integration and technology innovation in its national defense building in 2019.
Premier Li said the mainland will give more support to the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions in order to integrate regional growth into the country's overall development and accelerate the planning and development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area, while stressing the "One Country, Two Systems" principle.
"We will support the two regions in seizing the major opportunities presented by the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area development strategy, giving better play to their strengths, and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation with the mainland in all fields," Li said.