The target marks a return to strong growth after the covid-19 pandemic impacted the world's second largest econony. China's economy grew last year by only 2.3 per cent, its weakest results in decades.
The new target highlights the Chinese economy's strong rebound after the pandemic shutdown led to a sharp 6.8 per cent contraction is the first quarter of 2020,
'A target of over 6 per cent will enable all us to devote full energy to promoting reform, innovation, and high-quality development,' Premier Li Keqiang said at the opening of this year's National People's Congress.
'In setting this target, we have taken in account the recovery of economic activity.'
Meanwhile, China's February exports in dollar terms skyrocketed 154.9 per cent in February compared with a year earlier, while imports gained 17.3 per cent, the most since October 2018, according to government data.
In the January-February period, exports jumped 60.6 per cent from a year earlier, when lockdowns to contain the pandemic paralysed the country's economic activity.
The surge was driven by a rebound in foreign demand, customs said in a statement on its website, citing improvements in manufacturing industries in the European Union and the United States, and their increased imports of Chinese products thanks to fiscal stimulus measures.
'In addition, a majority of manufacturing employees (in China) chose to stay put over the Lunar New Year holidays,' the statement said. 'Our survey showed a lot of firms in export-oriented provinces stayed open, and orders that usually only get delivered after the new year had been delivered normally.'
In January-February, imports increased 22.2 per cent from a year earlier, above the 15 per cent forecast, partly due to stockpiling of semiconductors and energy products, according to customs.
China posted a trade surplus of US$103.25 billion for the first two months. Analysts had expected the trade surplus to narrow to $60.15 billion from $78.17 billion in December.
China's trade surplus with the United States stood at $51.26 billion in January-February. Chinese customs did not give a monthly breakdown. The surplus was $29.92 billion in December.
Katherine Tai, President Joe Biden's nominee to be US trade representative, said last week she would work to fight a range of 'unfair' Chinese trade and economic practices, reports Reuters.