China’s outstanding foreign debt totalled US$170.41bn at the end of June 2001, the People’s Bank of China announced in November. This appeared to show a sharp increase from the US$145.73bn reported for the end of December 2000. However, the central bank said the figures were now calculated in a way recommended by the International Monetary Fund and included for the first time overseas borrowings of foreign financial institutions operating in China, offshore deposits at Chinese banks and some trade-related loans.
The bank did admit that China’s debt had increased, even after allowing for the adjustment in statistical standards, without indicating how large the increase had been.
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