China sets 2019 economic growth target at 6 to 6.5 percent

A Chinese military band conductor rehearses before the opening session of the annual National People's Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the People,

A Chinese military band conductor rehearses before the opening session of the annual National People's Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the People,

A Chinese military conductor instructs his music band members during a rehearsal for the opening session of the China's National People's Congress at

A Chinese military conductor instructs his music band members during a rehearsal for the opening session of the China's National People's Congress at

A Chinese honor guard marches out beneath the large portrait of Chinese leader Mao Zedong to perform the daily flag raising ceremony at Tiananmen Squa

A Chinese honor guard marches out beneath the large portrait of Chinese leader Mao Zedong to perform the daily flag raising ceremony at Tiananmen Squa

A Chinese military conductor gestures as he instructs his music band members during a rehearsal for the opening session of the China's National People

A Chinese military conductor gestures as he instructs his music band members during a rehearsal for the opening session of the China's National People

A Chinese military band conductor rehearses before the opening session of the annual National People's Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the People,

A Chinese military band conductor rehearses before the opening session of the annual National People's Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the People,

Tourists take photos of the daily flag raising ceremony at Tiananmen Square on the eve of the opening session of China's National People's Congress (N

Tourists take photos of the daily flag raising ceremony at Tiananmen Square on the eve of the opening session of China's National People's Congress (N

Chinese police gather outside the Great Hall of the People, ahead of the opening session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, Tuesd

Chinese police gather outside the Great Hall of the People, ahead of the opening session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, Tuesd

Tourists take photos of the daily flag raising ceremony at Tiananmen Square on the eve of the opening session of China's National People's Congress (N

Tourists take photos of the daily flag raising ceremony at Tiananmen Square on the eve of the opening session of China's National People's Congress (N

BEIJING (AP) — China's government has trimmed this year's economic growth target to a relatively robust 6 to 6.5 percent amid a tariff battle with Washington and a slowdown in global growth.

The growth target announced Tuesday at the opening of the ceremonial national legislature is down slightly from 2018's three-decade low growth of 6.6 percent. But it would be among the world's strongest expansions if achieved.

The announcement comes amid a tariff battle with Washington and slowing global demand for Chinese exports.

The finance ministry also said the country's defense budget this year will rise 7.5 percent.

Chinese authorities are expected to use the congress to highlight measures intended to support economic growth. Legislators also are due to endorse a change in rules on technology in response to U.S. and European pressure.