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The financial district of Pudong is seen on a hazy day in Shanghai, in this file picture taken January 21, 2013.
The financial district of Pudong is seen on a hazy day in Shanghai, in this file picture taken January 21, 2013.
(Aly Song/Reuters)

China debt shrouds economy in haze of risk

We know about the Federal Reserve taper and we are no longer afraid. We know about those indebted Mediterranean euro zone states and we still worry just a little. What keeps us awake in the small hours, to misquote a famous American general, are those risks that we don’t know we don’t know. So, right on cue to disturb our holiday slumber comes the Chinese National Audit Office with the news that Chinese local government debt has risen to 17.9 trillion Yuan ($3.1-trillion), a 67 per cent increase since the last audit in 2010.