A robot is presented at Wuhu robotics center in Wuhu, Anhui Province, China, June 30, 2016. Picture taken June 30, 2016. REUTERS/Nathaniel Taplin
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"Hero" was the result of six months research at a nearby robotics park that has cost 2.2 billion yuan ($332 million) to establish.The ease with which municipalities can use off-balance companies like LGFVs to finance infrastructure – some needed, some not – is rapidly boosting China's already high-debt burden.Growth in demand for industrial robots in China fell by more than two-thirds to 17 percent in 2015 – and yet more than 40 robotics parks have sprouted throughout the country in the last two years, according to industry data.Outstanding debt was $26.56 trillion, or 255 percent of gross domestic product at the end of 2015, up from 220 percent just two years before, according to the Bank for International Settlements.In China as a whole, LGFV bond financing climbed 72 percent in the first five months of 2016 from the same period last year to 740 billion yuan, while the vehicles' total outstanding bond debt now stands at around 5 trillion yuan, according to Everbright Securities data sourced from the Chinese information provider WIND.For a command economy, China has a very decentralized fiscal system with local governments responsible for about 85 percent of fiscal spending but receiving only 50 percent of tax revenues.
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