China finance minister says govt debt risks under control

By Andrei Skvarsky.

China’s finance minister has put the total debt ratio of the country’s central and local governments at 36.7 per cent, arguing that this level is not high and will not change much by the end of 2017, that government debt risks are controllable, and that the government still has room for borrowing.

The total debts of the central and local governments stood at 27.33 trillion yuan ($3.95 trillion) as of the end of 2016, the English version of China’s People’s Daily newspaper cited the minister, Xiao Jie, as telling a news conference in Beijing on March 7.

Xiao said the Finance Ministry had launched a series of measures to help to contain local government debt risks.

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