**China's Economy Slows to 7.4 Percent in Q3**
China's economy grew by 7.4 percent in the third quarter, missing the government's target and falling to its slowest rate of growth since the global financial crisis.
The figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday represent the seventh straight quarter of easing for the world's second largest economy.
Although 7.4 percent growth would be considered strong in many recession-struck countries, the figure is low for China, which has averaged annual growth rates of 10 percent for decades.
But Premier Wen Jabot is still optimistic China can reach its target of 7.5 percent growth for this year, saying on Wednesday the economy is stabilizing and has been "relatively good" the past three months.
** Former US Ambassador to China Says His Visa Was Denied by Beijing**
Former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman says Beijing cancelled a visa for him to visit the country last month to give a speech because of his record of bringing up human rights.
In a Wednesday interview with Foreign Policy, Huntsman said China's sensitive leadership transition that begins next month is likely the reason China's Communist leaders barred his visit. There has been no official Chinese comment.
Huntsman, who served as ambassador from 2009 until 2011, said Chinese leaders know that he "talks too much about human rights and American values." He said they "didn't want the former ambassador saying stuff that might create a narrative that they would have to fight."
The Mandarin-speaking Huntsman, who resigned as ambassador in April 2011 to unsuccessfully attempt a run at the Republican nomination for president, was at times an unusually outspoken critic of China's human rights record.