Australia Flags China’s Debt Mountain As Risk To Stability

China’s growing debt mountain poses a risk to Australia’s financial stability, a senior politician has warned, just weeks after the continent celebrated a quarter century of growth without a recession. China is Australia’s largest trading partner, accounting for A$150bn of two-way trade in 2015. Beijing is also an important foreign investor in Australia, leaving Canberra potentially among the developed nations most exposed to a Chinese downturn. China’s growing debt in its local government and state-owned enterprise sector were potential vulnerabilities that could end up having an impact on the continent, Scott Morrison, Australian treasurer, said in an interview with the Financial Times. Australia’s warning on Chinese debt follows concerns expressed by the International Monetary Fund and others, including billionaire George Soros, who have warned that adverse shocks in China fuelled by its rising debt levels could spark contagion and hit countries with a high trade exposure to the country. Read more. (Subscription required.)