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Chinese Development Finance is Changing. We Just Don’t Know Exactly How.

File image of a branch of office of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) in Beijing. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER

A lively discussion broke out over the weekend about Boston University’s new Chinese overseas development finance database and whether the dramatic plunge in lending that purportedly took place last year is accurate. Some scholars are suggesting that BU’s data overlooked lending to SOEs, for example, and that Chinese development financing patterns are changing but not necessarily going down — and certainly nowhere near as much as the BU researchers contend.

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