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On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP expanded 1.7% between April and June.

Retail sales increased by 11% compared to the previous year in June - the fastest pace of growth recorded in 18 months.

Despite the notion that China's GDP print retains a lack of transparency, markets around the region are likely to stay buoyed, say traders, should the high frequency industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment numbers - also released on Monday - track positively alongside GDP.

The annual growth was forecast to slow to 6.8%.

The International Monetary Fund has forecast China's full-year growth for 2017 to hold steady at last year's level of 6.7% due to strong government spending.

Xing Zhihong, spokesperson of China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said China's economy is operating within a reasonable range, maintaining stable, coordinated and sustainable development. The result outpaced an expectation for 6.8% growth by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

China has seen continuous employment growth in the first half of 2017, helped by an expanding service sector and the upgrade of the manufacturing sector, official data showed Monday.

China's economy grew at a 6.9% pace in the second quarter, beating expectations and showing the resilience of the world's second largest economy. But some analysts expect increasingly stringent cooling measures will eventually drag on investment and dampen construction activity. In addition, more efforts are needed to strengthen SOE reforms, improve local governments' fiscal positions and crack implicit government guarantees.

President Xi Jinping has called for even tougher regulations to reduce the country's vulnerability though the GDP figures suggested there was no cause for immediate alarm - given stronger export growth and a jump in new orders.

Fixed asset investment year-to-date came in at 8.6%, the same as in May (consensus: 8.5%).