Deputies to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) gathered Sunday morning at a preparatory meeting to elect the presidium and set the agenda for the first session of the 13th NPC scheduled to begin on Monday.
The report added that the unchanged growth target was "fitting given the fact that China's economy is transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development" and would allow it to "achieve relatively full employment".
Chinese leaders have set this year's official economic growth target at "around 6.5 percent", which is down slightly from 2017 but would be among the world's strongest if achieved.
The defence spending may figure in Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's work report to be submitted to the NPC which kicks off its 15 day annual session tomorrow.
The premier said Beijing will speed up state-led development of integrated circuits, mobile communications, aircraft engines, electric cars and other technology.
China today skipped the customary announcement of the defence budget ahead of the annual Parliament meeting and justified the steady rise in its military spending, second highest in the world, saying it was in tune with its security needs and would not pose a threat to any country. Economists expect growth momentum to weaken this year as the government reins in corporate debt, leading to higher borrowing costs, while a war on pollution and a cooling property market will slow heavy industries and real estate investment.
By the end of the two-week session, the new line-up of top government leaders will be endorsed by the NPC delegates, with former anti-corruption tsar Wang Qishan expected to take up the post of vice-president.
In a further display of sophistication, China in early February said it successfully tested a mid-course anti-missile defence system, deploying similar technology to that used to destroy a defunct Chinese satellite in 2007.
Steel producers in Canada, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea and Turkey rely far more heavily on the USA market.
"The policy changes of the major economies and their spillover effects create uncertainty; protectionism is mounting, and geopolitical risks are on the ascent", Li said.
Their response came after the President of the United State, Donald Trump, unveiled steel and aluminium tariffs.
Heavy government infrastructure spending was a major driver behind China's forecast-beating growth past year, but Beijing has been cracking down recently on some projects launched by local governments as it seeks to curb their spending.
China also set its consumer inflation goal at "around 3 percent", in line with past year, as widely expected.
The slide toward one-man rule under Xi, already China's most dominant figure of recent decades, has fueled concern Beijing is eroding efforts to guard against the excesses of autocratic leadership and make economic regulation more stable and predictable.
Remaining in power beyond 2023 gives President Xi Jinping a chance to push through his vision of a rejuvenated China with global clout, a prosperous society and a powerful military.