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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Risks of nation's external debt are limited, SAFE official says

By Li Xiang (China Daily)

10:09, December 16, 2011

BEIJING - The overall risk of China's external debt is limited, but regulators should be alert to the country's rapidly rising short-term external debt, a senior official at the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said on Thursday.

Outstanding external debt has reached $642.5 billion, up $253.3 billion from 2007, before the global financial crisis, according to Li Chao, deputy head of the SAFE.

As the eurozone sovereign debt crisis has worsened, speculation has grown that China might also face fiscal problems and its external debt might have a negative impact on the economy.

But Li said that the current structure of China's external debt remains sound and the overall risk is well under control, given the nation's $3.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves.

Li said that China should pay special attention to its surging short-term external debt, which accounts for 72 percent of its total external debt.

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