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From overseas media: Ministry of Finance’s news conference

Updated: Mar 7,2017 5:23 PM

Minister of Finance Xiao Jie attends a news conference of the two sessions in Beijing, March 7, 2017[Photo/China Daily]

Local government debt

China will strictly control local government debt quotas and step up checks on illegal debt guarantees, finance minister Xiao Jie said on March 7.

Government debt risks are generally under control, Xiao said at a news conference during the annual meeting of parliament.

China will continue a debt-swap program for local governments to help contain debt risks, Xiao said.

— Reuters

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose as China’s finance minister expressed confidence over the government’s ability to handle rising levels of debt.

— AP

Budget deficit

China’s budget deficit will grow in 2017 to fund tax reduction, expenditures and spending in key areas, and the addition amount will be in proportion with the projected rise in gross domestic product, he [Finance Minister Xiao Jie] said.

Xiao said China is able to control local debt levels, adding the central government debt ratio, which was 36.7 percent last year, won’t change much this year.

— Bloomberg

Green energy cars

China has recovered 2.3 billion yuan ($470.2 million) from companies that cheated a subsidy program to promote green energy cars, the country’s Finance Minister Xiao Jie told a briefing on March 7.

China’s central government has spent billions in subsidies to aggressively promote battery electric and plug-in hybrid cars, aiming to cut urban air pollution and encourage domestic carmakers to leapfrog global competitors in automotive technology.

— The Business Times