Stat of the day: $1.1tn

The amount China holds in US Treasuries.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
China’s not holding back on its criticism over the US handling of the debt crisis. In a series of scathing attacks, Chinese media outlets have made their opinions about the downgrading of America’s debt rating known. ‘What's happening in Washington is not an economic crisis, but a political crisis,’ a commentary piece in the People’s Daily says. It also accuses Western economies of ‘incessant messing around over selfish interests.’

The Chinese are understandably concerned. China is the largest foreign holder of US government debt, with at least $1.1 trillion in US Treasuries. And any alternative places for investing its whopping $3 trillion worth of foreign-exchange reserves are looking limited. If the US introduces financial policies that could seriously devalue these holdings, the Chinese could, er, see red.

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