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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The amount of foreign money flowing into onshore Chinese bonds more than doubled in May from its previous monthly total and the proportion of the bonds held by foreign investors rose to the highest level on record, Chinese government data showed.

What's happening: Ultra-low bond yields in the U.S., eurozone and other developed markets seem to be driving money to China, even as its yuan currency depreciates below 7-to-1 against the dollar.

  • The increase from April to May was the largest in 18 months, South China Morning Post reported.
  • “Overseas investors are showing great interest in the Chinese bond market because its sovereign treasury bonds have relatively strong returns,” Robin Xing, Morgan Stanley’s chief China economist, told SCMP.

Yes, but: The numbers are still very small. The outstanding positions of onshore Chinese bonds owned by non-mainland investors was only $343.4 billion at the end of May, or 2.6% of the total.

Of note: In April, data showed foreign investors holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds fell to its lowest level since December, while foreign holdings of U.S. corporate bonds rose to the highest since September, another sign investors are willing to trade safety for yield.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Sep 29, 2020 - Economy & Business

Jerome Powell, Trump's re-election MVP

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Getty Images photos: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP and Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket

President Trump trails Joe Biden in most polls, has generally lower approval ratings and is behind in trust on most issues. Yet polls consistently give him an edge on the economy, which remains a top priority among voters.

Why it matters: If Trump wins re-election, it will largely be because Americans see him as the force rallying a still-strong U.S. economy, a narrative girded by skyrocketing stock prices and consistently climbing U.S. home values — but the man behind booming U.S. asset prices is really Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell.

Sep 29, 2020 - World

The risks and rewards from China's imperial dreams

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

By undertaking massive infrastructure projects around the world, China under President Xi Jinping is following in the footsteps of previous empires.

Why it matters: Like previous imperial projects in history, Xi's Belt and Road Initiative presents both benefits and risks for China.

“You blew it”: GOP activist turns on corporations over vaccine mandates

The chairman of the American Conservative Union said on "Axios on HBO" he accepts "Joe Biden is my president, and I want him to succeed," but predicted Republicans retake the House and Senate in 2022 — with greater than 50% odds Donald Trump runs in 2024.

The big picture: In a joint interview with his wife, Mercedes, Matt Schlapp also refused to share their vaccination status. And he told corporate America "you blew it" by embracing vaccine mandates and liberal social stances that have alienated GOP voters and politicians.