From The Economist, on the scale of Chinese infrastructure building,
China aims to build 3,200km of high-speed rail lines this year. That is nearly as much as Spain, the country with the second-largest high-speed rail network, has in total; for China, though, it is down from an average of 3,600km annually over the past five years.
And despite all the talk of reining in debt financing,
Total social financing, a measure that consists mainly of bank loans and bond issuance, hit 8.2trn yuan ($1.2trn) in the first quarter, up by 40% from the same period last year, well above most forecasts. A quarter of the financing has been short-term corporate loans. In China that is usually a sign that pliant state-owned banks are heeding the government’s call to pump out credit, ahead of demand from borrowers.