China media: Economic slowdown

Tiananmen Square in Beijing
Image caption China's economy has seen the second straight quarter of weaker expansion

State media say China's slowest economic growth in two decades will spur sustainable development and kick-start long-stalled reforms.

The world's second biggest economy grew by 7.5% in April to June, down from 7.7% in the January to March period, data showed.

The Xinhua news agency, however, says as long as China's average annual growth rate does not fall below 7% in future, it can still double its 2010 GDP ratio by 2020.

"China's economic growth is still within a reasonable range, but it also faces production overcapacity, weak external demand and other downward pressure, as well as tight liquidity, local debt problems and other local risks," the agency stresses.

"Our economy advances amid stability," reads the front page of the People's Daily.

"Some worry a slower growth will damage image of the party and the government. However, even growth of 7% is strong globally," says a bilingual editorial by the Global Times.

However, the Hong Kong Economic Times highlights doubts in the international community on whether China can sustain its annual growth target of 7.5%. It says Beijing needs to invest more in new growth engines and reduce excess production capacity and inefficient investment that have long plagued the economy.

The Ta Kung Pao says the Hong Kong government must urgently tackle weak domestic demand, falling income rates and a property market bubble to fend off a "double blow" from both mainland and US economic trends.

In other news, the Southern Weekend and many other newspapers are reacting today to the arrest of four senior executives from the China branch of global pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline for allegedly using travel agencies as vehicles to bribe government officials, hospitals and doctors to boost drug sales.

A commentary in The Beijing News says the case will be "a good opportunity to rectify China's pharmaceutical market" following recent cases of alleged bribery involving multinational drug companies.

"Petitioning mum"

The Beijing Times and The Beijing News welcome a successful compensation appeal against local authorities by Tang Hui, who is known as the "petitioning mum".

Ms Tang says she was sent to a labour camp last year for constantly petitioning to demand death sentences for at least seven men who kidnapped, raped and forced her then 11-year-old daughter into prostitution in 2006.

Some internet users believe that Ms Tang's compensation is too low and that the local labour camp authorities still owe her a formal apology, Hong Kong's Ming Pao reports.

However, commentator Xu Danei in Sohu news portal says Ms Tang has attracted controversy over alleged inconsistencies in her account of events, as well as her demands for higher compensation and harsher penalties for all of the accused.

Beijing's top official in Hong Kong has agreed to have lunch with the entire parliament, including pro-democracy lawmakers, for the first time since the handover.

Hong Kong Cable TV, TVB and other local stations say pro-democrat lawmakers will press for genuine universal suffrage when meeting Zhang Xiaoming, director of Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong.

Finally, comedian Zhao Benshan and top director Feng Xiaogang, who is famous for his satirical films, will be directing China Central Television's Spring Festival Gala next year.

Despite a generally positive reaction in the mainstream media, many internet users say getting big names will not help to improve the annual variety show which has lost popularity over the years.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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