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November 1, 2016

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China’s debt risks are within control

VICE Minister of Finance Zhu Guangyao said yesterday that China’s debt calculation is open and transparent and the risks remain controllable.

Speaking at a meeting in Beijing, Zhu referred to figures from the International Monetary Fund and the National Institution for Finance and Development, a domestic think tank.

“The IMF estimated China’s non-financial debts at 153.4 trillion yuan (US$22.7 trillion) in 2015, accounting for 220.4 percent of GDP, while the NIFD’s was 154.3 trillion yuan, or 227.92 percent of GDP,” Zhu said.

“The two figures were almost the same, and the difference stemmed from statistical methods.”

Zhu’s remarks came amid lingering concerns that China’s policy-makers underestimated the country’s debt level.

But data from the two bodies showed similar results in the government, household and company debt, with minor difference in statistical structure, Zhu said.

He also dismissed worries about rising debt, calling the level as “reasonable” as debt ratios of central and local governments were well below 40 percent.


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