China's outstanding foreign debt is much higher than previous figures due to the use of new international statistical standards.
China's outstanding foreign debt hit 10.3 trillion yuan (1.67 trillion U.S. dollars) by the end of March, the country's forex regulator said on Friday.
The amount does not include the outstanding external debt of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions or that of Taiwan, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said in a statement on its website.
The new standard introduced is the special data dissemination standard (SDDS) established by the International Monetary Fund in 1996 to enhance the availability of timely and comprehensive statistics. RMB-denominated foreign debt was calculated using SDDS for the first time and stood at 4.94 trillion yuan, about 48.1 percent of the total. If assessed in the traditional way, foreign debt at the end of March would have been 3 percent less than that at the end of 2014.
Most of the debt resulted from short-term borrowing, as outstanding external debt with a term of one year or less amounted to 7.24 trillion yuan, while long- and medium-term debt came in at 3.04 trillion yuan.
In terms of currency structure, debt denominated in foreign currencies accounted for 51.9 percent, and 80 percent of that is in U.S. dollars, compared to six percent in euros and four percent in Japanese yen.