China Needs More Central Government Debt, Leading Economist Advises

In a significant development, leading economist Li Daokui has recommended that China should substantially increase its central government debt issuance to address the financial constraints of local authorities and drive economic growth. This move comes as local governments, pivotal investors, and consumers in the economy, face mounting financial pressures.

Blake Hartford
By Blake Hartford 113 Views Add a Comment

China should significantly increase its central government debt issuance to compensate for the financial constraints faced by local authorities, according to a prominent economist. This recommendation aims to drive economic growth amid local governments’ spending limitations.

Leading economist Li Daokui, a regular policy adviser and professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, emphasized the necessity of raising the central government debt to GDP ratio, which currently stands at approximately 20%. He suggested that this ratio should be more than doubled to stimulate economic growth.

The central government debt to GDP ratio should be more than doubled to stimulate growth.

Beijing has already initiated the issuance of 1 trillion yuan ($138 billion) in special bonds for public investment. However, Li advocates for a far greater issuance, proposing 10 trillion to 20 trillion yuan of extra-long bonds.

China’s increasing willingness to boost central government borrowing has been evident since last year. Local governments, key investors, and consumers in the economy, are facing escalating financial pressures, with debts equating to nearly 100% of GDP. Li highlighted that the decline in revenue from land sales, caused by a housing market downturn, has worsened this situation.

A recent auction of special bonds saw massive demand from retail investors, prompting warnings from officials about speculative trades. This highlights the scarcity of safe-haven assets in a slowing economy.

Li noted that there is a “tremendous amount” of liquidity within the banking system as households and companies prefer saving over spending. However, the willingness of families to purchase central government bonds presents a strong case for the government to issue more bonds and replace local government debt.

Families are willing to buy central government bonds, making a strong case for increased issuance.

Addressing the government’s property sector rescue efforts, Li criticized the central bank’s 300 billion yuan funding to help local governments purchase excess housing inventory as insufficient. He stressed the importance of preventing property developers from defaulting on their debts.

Li anticipates further government measures in the upcoming months, with significant announcements expected during the Communist Party’s “third plenum” in July.

Share This Article
Blake Hartford is a seasoned financial expert and the lead author at With a keen interest in finance and technology, Blake delivers the most current and insightful information on banking and investments to readers. He holds a Master’s Degree in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. With over twelve years of experience in top financial institutions, Blake specializes in investment strategy and financial planning. At, he ensures all content is meticulously researched and valuable, making complex financial topics easy to understand and engaging for the audience.
Leave a comment