Cooperation at the ministry’s Office for International Military Cooperation, said that comp
ared with other branches of the military, the PLA Navy plays a relatively larger role in protecting China’s overseas inter
ests and maintaining security in key sea lanes such as the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia.
“The PLA Navy is at the forefront of proving that the Chinese milita
ry is an open, cooperative and competent force for peace,” he said, adding that the PLA Navy has f
requently participated in humanitarian rescue missions, naval escorts, joint exercises and exchanges in past years.
“Through these non-war military operations, the Chinese Navy has also improved its capability and operability in dis
tant waters,” Zhou said. “Many security issues around the world require global efforts, and as its capability impr
oves, the PLA Navy can play a bigger part and contribute more to global maritime security.”
Chinese local government bonds worth 1.4 billion yuan ($208.5 million) were snapped up by retail investors within a single day, after counter sales in banks we
re made available for the first time. The fundraising will help supplement a broader fiscal deficit this year, analysts said.
On Monday, individuals in China were able to purchase bonds issued by t
he Zhejiang provincial government (five-year term, 3.32 percent coupon rate) and the N
ingbo city government (three-year term, 3.04 percent coupon rate). Proceeds from the sales will be used for land purchases (300 million yuan) and shantytown renovations (1.1 billion yuan), acc
ording to a notice on the website of China Central Depository and Clearing, a clearinghouse under the central bank.
The minimum investment amount for retail investors is 100 yuan, lower than most wealth management products issu
ed by commercial banks. Previously, individual investors could only purchase bonds issued by the central government, kno
wn as treasury bonds. And before Monday, local government bonds were traded mainly in the interbank market.
domestically rated “AAA”, the safest level. The sale to individual investors is mainly of project-link
ed special-purpose bonds, a type of local government bond vigorously promoted by the government in re
cent years. The cash flows generated from the underlying projects will be used as the primary repayment sources.
In China, there are two types of local government bonds: general bonds and special purpose bonds. According to the country’s 2019 budget repor
t, which was approved by the top legislature earlier this month, the budgeted deficit for local governments is 930 billion yuan, up 100 billi
on yuan compared with 2018, and this fund gap will be supplemented by general bonds.
In the meantime, 2.15 trillion yuan of special purpose bonds will be issued to support la
rge infrastructure projects, such as shantytown renovation projects and railways, said the ministry.
Letting individual buyers invest in local government bonds is a way to narrow the government’s financin
g gap, said Hu Yijian, a tax professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. The gap is expected to expand, as policym
akers decided to cut about 2 trillion yuan in taxes and fees this year while at the same time increase spending on investment.