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Bond issuance "sole legal way" for China local gov'ts to raise debt: minister

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China has made bond issuance the sole legal way for local governments to raise debt amid nation's efforts to forestall systemic financial crisis, according to the financial minister on Wednesday.

All other means to raise debt are considered illegal and will face punishment, Xiao Jie told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's national legislature.

Local government special bonds will total 1.35 trillion yuan (about 213 billion US dollars) this year, 550 billion yuan more than last year, said Xiao.

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