Opinion: It’s Fine for Local Governments to Repay Old Debts With New Ones
The Ministry of Finance recently said that “the upper limit of local government debt issued to pay back bonds maturing in 2018 will be decided according to either the number of bonds requested to be issued or the amount that is maturing, whichever figure is lower.”
This triggered some debate as to whether the ministry had, for the first time, said clearly that local governments are allowed to issue new debt to pay back old. The debate, whatever its conclusion, reflects the widespread anxiety in society over China’s local government debt.
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