China’s building boom is turning into a “death spiral” after the country’s leaders announced their intention to cut down on the countrys reliance on foreign construction loans, according to a new report by the US-based think tank National Geographic.
In an article published on Thursday, the group says China has surpassed the threshold for the first time in its history of building out its economy and infrastructure.
Beijing had already surpassed that threshold in the first half of this year.
In the three months ending June 30, China added more than 300,000 jobs in the construction sector, an increase of more than 10 percent from the same period in 2016.
The rise comes as the government seeks to limit the amount of foreign capital it needs to fund its massive infrastructure projects.
“The slowdown in China’s growth is forcing the Chinese leadership to look for ways to slow down its expansion,” the report says.
The slowdown has also prompted some to consider measures to reduce the country´s reliance of foreign construction funding, such as cutting back on financing for large projects.
China´s growing reliance on construction spending has drawn criticism from human rights advocates and critics in the country.
Beijing has said it would cut back on the use of foreign funding if it is unable to sustain growth.
“This is the second straight year that China has run out of foreign investment dollars, and there has been an enormous amount of debt accumulating in the economy, especially in the private sector,” a senior economist with the China Banking Regulatory Commission, Xu Lei, told the Financial Times last week.
“In addition, the Chinese government has made a concerted effort to curtail construction spending and reduce its reliance on private financing.”
Xu said that a decision to phase out foreign construction financing could also force China to reduce its use of debt.
“If China starts to scale back on its foreign investment, it will need to be able to sustain its growth by borrowing from the private markets, which is the way China´ll be able survive in the future,” he said.