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MNI China Press Digest Nov 26: Local Bonds, Yuan, Open Borders

MNI picks keys stories from today's China press

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The following lists highlights from Chinese press reports on Friday:

  • China may reduce the issuance of local government special bonds next year, possibly to CNY3.2 trillion, compared with this year's issuance quota of CNY3.65 trillion, said the Securities Daily citing Luo Zhiheng deputy research head of Yuekai Securities. With less special bonds, the deficit-to-GDP ratio must be maintained at a relatively high level of about 3.5%, said Luo. Analysts expect the Finance Ministry to front-load some of next year's quota by the end of 2021, so to help local governments better prepare for the start of major projects, the newspaper said.
  • China should expand the digital yuan pilot program to more regions after ensuring the operations of the digital currency during the Beijing Winter Olympics, and formally launch it at the right time, said a commentary on the front page of the Economic Information Daily, penned by Dong Ximiao, chief analyst at Merchants Union Consumer Finance and a frequent contributor to state media. Digital yuan can help raise the international profile of the yuan and increase China's participation in global financial governance should the country strengthen exchanges in digital currency R&D, said Dong. Digital yuan will better protect information and financial security, said Dong, adding that less printing can also help to achieve the country's carbon neutrality goal.
  • China may not relax restrictions on foreign visitors soon even as it prepares for the limited opening of its borders with Hong Kong, the Global Times reported citing an anonymous Beijing-based immunologist. A quarantine-free opening to foreign visitors in the short term would have an incalculable negative impact on China, and previous outbreaks abroad have repeatedly demonstrated that cold temperatures in winter tend to cause a strong rebound in the epidemic, the expert was cited as saying. China's "zero policy" will not be adjusted even after the resumption of quarantine-free travel between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, and Chinese experts have not yet discussed future adjustments in China's policy, the newspaper said citing an expert from China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention who requested anonymity.