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China's hidden debt swells in scramble to finance public works

Off-books bond issuances on track to climb 50% in 2020

A man holding a face mask walks past a construction site in Beijing on July 16.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- On the outskirts of the coastal Chinese city of Ningbo, a construction crew busily adds new lanes to a highway to the neighboring city of Hangzhou. Clanging steel and roaring vehicles echo throughout the site.

"Construction resumed back in March, but we've picked up the pace recently," a worker said. "We're getting paid more overtime, too."

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