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China's debt mountain scales new heights on trade war stimulus

Cities and banks urged to push infrastructure, sending liabilities soaring again

Workers construct a speed skating rink for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. China has increased infrastructure work this year under a stimulus program.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- China's total public and private debt has reached new highs compared with the size of its economy, raising fears that Beijing's stimulus push will expand it even further.

The ratio of debt to gross domestic product, excluding the financial industry, totaled 248.8% at the end of March, according to a study by two government think tanks. That figure is 5.1 percentage points higher than it was at the end of December.

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