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China’s external debt continues to grow

Updated: Jun 30,2018 7:45 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s outstanding external debt continued to grow in the first quarter of 2018 on the back of the country’s steady growth and wider opening-up, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said on June 29.

The outstanding debt stood at $1.84 trillion at the end of March, up 7.8 percent from the end of last year, the SAFE said in a statement.

The growth in debt owed to foreign creditors came mainly from currencies and the increase of deposits and bonds.

The SAFE said the growth of external debt reflected China’s steady economic growth and increasing opening-up, as GDP expanded 6.8 percent in the first quarter, higher than the government’s annual target of around 6.5 percent.

China’s domestic bond market has become more open to foreign investors, with the share of bonds in total external debt rising from 8 percent in 2014 to 21 percent by the end of March 2018.

“This has become a new source of growth for external debt, indicating the strong confidence of foreign investors in China’s economy,” the SAFE said.