Local governments in China have debts worth at least 14 trillion yuan (US$2.3 trillion), Caijing magazine reported Monday, citing a researcher from the Ministry of Finance (MoF). The amount has increased when compared with the figure recorded in the previous round of audit, the report said, adding that the latest figure could still be an underestimate. Of the total debt, banks have lent 9.7 trillion yuan to local governments at provincial, municipal, county, and township levels as of the end of June, according to the report. The MoF has issued local government bonds worth 892.2 billion yuan, while urban construction bonds issued by government-backed local financing platforms amounted to about 1.4 trillion yuan, the report said.
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