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Reproduced from the Institute of International Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

Despite the pandemic ravaging investor confidence early in 2020, U.S. and European investors flocked to Chinese debt, pushing the level of foreign investment in China's bonds to a record high and more than double its 2019 level, data from the Institute of International Finance show.

What happened: Chinese government and policy bank bonds were added to the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index beginning in April 2019 and in September JPMorgan announced that they would add China's government bonds to its highly followed EM global bond index.

  • China's weight in the index reached 10% in November.

Between the lines: Total inflows to emerging markets declined by just $48 billion from 2019's levels, "an impressive reading considering that the COVID-19 shock meant one of the deepest and most violent outflow episodes on record," IIF says in a report.

Watch this space: The fourth quarter of 2020 saw $179.6 billion of EM inflows, the strongest quarter for the asset class since just before the “taper tantrum” in 2013, which caused significant EM outflows for years.

Why you'll hear about this again: U.S. lawmakers have worked to restrict American investment in China by imposing regulations on Chinese companies' equity offerings.

  • However, as China's debt, which offers yields at more than 3% (about three times comparable U.S. offerings), becomes more mainstream, more funds will likely flow into the country.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 15, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Unlocking the ways to meet China's carbon emissions goal

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

China has a workable path toward making a huge head start on its long-term climate pledges by ensuring that essentially all new power generating capacity added going forward is zero-carbon, a new analysis argues.

Driving the news: The report out today offers what authors call a technically and economically feasible roadmap for transforming China's power sector over the next 10 years.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
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Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.