This should give Trump more leverage with China:
China has relied on borrowing to fuel its expansion for at least a generation. In 2018, the country was known for creating four billionaires a week and is number one globally in self-made fortunes. But this quick pace of growth, with many borrowing heavily in the process, also masked companies’ strategic mistakes.
Over the past decade, the overall debt of the country has quadrupled to about three times the value of last year’s national output. Corporate debt makes up 2/3 of the total, amounting to more than $26 trillion last year. Most of the money is owed by government-run companies, but the stress is starting to surface also at private companies, who have less wiggle room with creditors and less support from the government.
For instance, Chenxi Group was decimated by lenders last year when they suddenly decide to call in loans. Earlier that year, the founder of machine maker Zhejiang Jindun Group committed suicide, leaping to his death, leaving the company to later reveal that it owed about $1.4 billion to loan sharks.
This year, Dong Wenbiao’s jet-maintenance to elder-care conglomerate, China Minsheng Investment Group, missed debt payments several times by days or weeks before making good on its obligations. In other words, the cracks in the surface of starting to show.
And the cracks continue to show: last month, a government takeover of Baoshang Bank, sparked problems for other small banks and headaches for customers. It was the first bank takeover by regulators in decades and caused near panic.