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State Researcher Says China Local Debt May Top 20 Trillion Yuan

China’s audit of local government debt may find that provincial and municipal authorities owe more than 20 trillion yuan ($3.3 trillion), said Liu Yuhui, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

That would be “way higher” than the level of debt at the end of 2010, Liu said at a briefing in Beijing today to announce that the academy and China Credit Rating Co. will jointly develop credit ratings for the country’s local governments. China’s National Audit Office said in a 2011 report that local authorities owed 10.7 trillion yuan at the end of 2010.