China’s national foreign debt exceeded USD$2.1 trillion as of the end of the second half of 2020.
Data released by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) on 25 September indicates that as of the end of June China’s foreign debt balance (not including Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan) stood at 15.0964 trillion yuan (approx. USD$2.1324 trillion).
The medium and long-term foreign debt balance was 6.4352 trillion yuan ($909.0 billion, accounting for 43% of the total, while the short-term foreign debt balance was 8.6612 trillion yuan ($1.2234 trillion), accounting for a 57% share. 39% of short-term foreign debt was trade-related credit.
The foreign debt balance of broadly defined Chinese government institutions was 2.088 trillion yuan ($294.9 billion), or 14% of the total, while the Chinese central bank’s foreign debt balance was 282.5 billion ($39.9 billion), for a 2% share.
46% of Chinese foreign debt was bank foreign debt at 7.0348 trillion yuan ($993.7 billion). The foreign debt balance of the “other category”, including direct investment and inter-company loans, was 5.6911 trillion yuan ($803.9 billion), for a 38% share.
In terms of debt instruments as of the end of the second half the foreign debt loan balance was 3.3696 trillion yuan ($476 billion), for a 22% share of the total. The trade credit and prepayment balance was 2.2945 trillion yuan ($324.1 billion) for a 15% share, while the currency and deposit balance was 3.2072 trillion yuan ($453 billion), for a 21% share.
The debt securities balance was 4.0123 trillion yuan ($566.7 billion) for a 27% share, and Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocations were 67.9 billion yuan ($9.6 billion), for a 0.5% share.
The direct investment and the inter-company debt balance was 1.7324 trillion yuan ($244.7 billion) for a 11.5% share.
5.6899 trillion yuan ($803.7 billion) of China’s foreign debt was denominated in the renminbi, for a 38% share, while 9.4065 trillion yuan ($1.3287 trillion) was denominated in foreign currencies, for a 62% share.
The US-dollar accounted for 84% of China’s foreign currency foreign debt, while the euro a 7% share, the Hong Kong dollar a 4% share, the Japanese yen a 2% share, and SDR’s and other currencies a 3% share.