In the midst of the ever-worsening trade conflict with China, the Asian country is once again the largest creditor of the US government, or in other words, no other country in the world owes the United States as much money as China – a total of 1.15 trillion dollars.
The US Treasury Department estimated the US Treasury and other debt instruments in Chinese hands at the end of June in a statistics published on Tuesday evening. At the end of May, it was still about $44 billion lower.
With the increase in June, China also succeeded in replacing Japan as the largest creditor. The volume of US debt securities in Japanese hands declined from $1.11 trillion in May to $1.09 trillion June.
Together, the two Asian countries come to two-thirds of the volume of US bonds, which are in foreign hands. Japan had replaced China last autumn as the largest creditor of the US.
On Tuesday, the trade dispute between China and the US has continued to escalate. The conduct of the USA provoked the leadership in Beijing. After the announcement by US President Donald Trump that China’s trade practices should be scrutinized more closely, China threatened with counter-measures in the wake of sanctions.
Trump had interrupted his holiday in particular to sign the memorandum on Monday, so that his trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, to probe China trade practices. “All options are on the table,” said Trump. It is above all the theft of intellectual property or the force of technology transfer.
The Beijing Ministry of Commerce expressed its “deep concern”. The US should appreciate the current economic and trade relations. Any trade barriers by the US would harm both parties.
The trade dispute could also make US cooperation with China more difficult in the North Korean crisis. Trump said last week that he expects China to be more involved in the resolution of the North Korean conflict and directly linked this issue to its action in the trade dispute.
The Beijing Department of Foreign Affairs, however, categorically rejected this. “China plays a positive and constructive role in solving the conflict through diplomatic means,” said a spokeswoman.
China is also outraged that Washington is using an old, long unused US law as the basis for the investigation, although there have long been other mechanisms within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) for such disputes.
The US should “not sabotage the multilateral rules,” said the Foreign Minister. Already the day before, it had warned against a “trade war” that “will have no winners but only losers”.
The US Trade Commissioner said the investigation had top priority. Among other things, the aim is to prevent the theft of intellectual property – for example, copying patents, bypassing trademark protection and spying on technology to be treated confidentially.
Trump accused China of “unfair” trading practices for a long time. Among other things, Beijing steel dumping prices on the US market. Last week, the US Department of Commerce announced the imposition of penalties against Chinese imports of Alufolia.
Chinese producers want to defend themselves legally. Trade between the two countries reached $578 billion last year. The Chinese export more to the US for $347 billion than the Americans to China.