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Beijing Calm as Cost of Insuring Chinese Government Debt Rises

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Beijing was calm yesterday, with no evidence of increased police presence or interruption to government business, after a report of unrest published in a U.S.-based paper linked with a banned Chinese spiritual group.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan greeted U.S. guests at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in central Beijing yesterday, including former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, according to a report on the government’s website.

Zhongnanhai was supposedly the site of a coup attempt earlier in the day, according to the Epoch Times, a New York-based newspaper distributed in the U.S. by members Falun Gong spiritual group, which has been banned in China since 1999 and whose supporters print messages on Chinese currency calling for heaven to “destroy the Communist Party.”

Qin Gang, head spokesman at China’s Foreign Ministry, said in a telephone interview about the Epoch Times report that he “hadn’t heard anything about that.”

“You should be very wary of this newspaper report,” Qin said.

The Epoch Times cited a “mainland Chinese reader” that it didn’t identify as saying a coup had taken place.

After publication of the report, entitled “Coup in Beijing, Says Chinese Internet Rumor Mill,” the cost of insuring Chinese government debt using credit-default swaps jumped 10 basis points to 107, set for the biggest daily gain in basis points since Nov. 9, according to data provider CMA.

Government agencies continued to hold meetings yesterday, and police presence throughout the capital appeared normal, with the exception of the area around Worker’s Stadium, where extra officers were deployed during the evening for crowd control during a soccer game.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Michael Forsythe in Beijing at mforsythe@bloomberg.net; John Liu in Beijing at jliu42@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net

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