China debt: how big is it, who owns it and what is next?

SCMP.com 

  • The Institute of International Finance (IFF) estimated that China’s total debt hit 317 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2020
  • In May 2020, the IFF also said the debt owed to China by the rest of the world had risen to more than 6 per cent of global GDP
The Institute of International Finance estimated that China’s total debt hit 317 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2020, up from 300 per cent in the last quarter of 2019 – the largest quarterly increase on record. Photo: AP
The Institute of International Finance estimated that China’s total debt hit 317 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2020, up from 300 per cent in the last quarter of 2019 – the largest quarterly increase on record. Photo: AP

What is the nature of China’s debt?

Broadly speaking, China’s debt can be divided into domestic debt and foreign debt.

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