President Xi says China should not focus on growth rate only

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a media conference in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 26, 2015. REUTERS/Feng Li/Pool

BOAO, China (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday that the country should not focus on its economic growth rate only, reiterating China's push for a more sustainable, higher-quality expansion.

Chinese leaders have announced an economic growth target of around 7 percent for this year, below the 7.5 percent goal in 2014 and the slowest rate in a quarter-century.

Xi, who was speaking at a forum in Boao on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, said 7 percent growth was still impressive and would be a big driver of momentum.

He said the Chinese economy was resilient and had much potential, allowing for a host of policy tools. Analysts anticipate further interest rate cuts in China this year.

The theme of the Boao forum is: "Asia's New Future: Towards a Community of Common Destiny".

(Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Writing by Ben Blanchard and Engen Tham; Editing by Michael Perry)