China's strong second quarter GDP growth paves way for deeper reforms

China's economy expanded faster-than-expected in the second quarter, setting the country on course to comfortably meet its 2017 growth target and giving policymakers room to tackle big economic challenges ahead of key leadership changes later this year. China's gross domestic product rose 6.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the same rate as the first quarter. That was higher than analysts expectations for the economy to expand 6.8 percent. REUTERS