China’s new Premier Li Qiang said Monday that policymakers should focus on the quality of growth. While he said China’s growth target of around 5% will not be easy to achieve, policymakers would push for growth, he added.

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BEIJING — China’s new Premier Li Qiang said Monday that policymakers should focus on the quality of growth — especially the needs of ordinary people for housing, income, education and health care.

His comments reflected how Beijing remains focused on priorities other than growth itself.

Li said China’s focus shifted to what it calls high-quality development, such as building technology and so-called green industries.

On macro policy, he said leaders would focus on stability, increasing domestic and external demand, technological innovation and risk diversification.

He said China’s growth target of around 5% will not be easy to achieve. But he said policymakers would push for growth and argued that non-state-owned enterprises would have more room for development.

China’s cabinet reshuffle

Li was named China’s new premier on Sunday, in a widely expected move. He is a known protégé by the Chinese President Xi Jinping and never served as Deputy Prime Minister – his appointment breaks with precedent.

On Friday, Xi received another unprecedented third term as president consolidates its power.

Xi was widely expected to retain the role in this month’s largely ceremonial parliamentary meeting, known as the “two sessions”. The annual gathering marks meetings of an advisory group and a legislative assembly, the National People’s Congress.

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In other leadership changes announced over the weekend, He Lifeng was among four people appointed as deputy prime minister. He previously headed the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s economic planning agency.

Several ministers retained their roles. Yi Gang remains the boss of The People’s Bank of ChinaLiu Kun head of Finance and Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, according to state media.

New Chinese Premier Li Qiang, pictured right, is a known protégé of Chinese President Xi Jinping, pictured left.

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Beijing has not yet announced who will lead the China Securities Regulatory Commission and the newly formed one National Financial Regulatory Administration, which replaces the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission and expands its role.

The administration is set to oversee most of the financial industry — except the securities industry.

Beijing established the new treasury as part of a restructuring of the State Council, the top executive body of the Chinese government. As Prime Minister, Li Qiang heads the State Council.

The restructuring comes as China’s ruling Communist Party is expected to significantly increase its direct control over the government.

The recent reshuffle of the government leadership will help make China’s monetary and fiscal policy more consistent, JLL’s Bruce Pang said. He expects the new team to help establish a “more pro-growth stance.”