The State Council has released a contingency plan for managing the mountain of local government debt, saying the central government will stick to the principle of “no bailouts.” Analysts said the plan was the latest official attempt to dispel suggestions that Beijing would shoulder responsibility for local government debt, which some economists say risks undermining the country’s financial and social stability. County or city-level governments should take care of their own debts and provincial governments should step in if lower-level administrations fail to do so, according to the plan posted on the central government website. The guidelines, specifying for the first time four types of “debt risk” and corresponding emergency responses. The worst-case scenario includes provincial governments failing to make principal or interest payments on bonds, according to the South China Morning Post.
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