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China Daily Website

China remains largest foreign US creditor

Updated: 2012-05-16 14:01
By Wei Tian (

China remains the largest foreign holder of United States Treasury securities after boosting its stockpile by $14.7 billion to $1.17 trillion in March, the US Treasury Department reported Tuesday.

But the holdings have shrunk 11 percent from the peak of $1.315 trillion in July 2011.

The February holdings by China were adjusted to $1.155 trillion from the $1.179 trillion in the previous report, according to the Treasury International capital paper.

According to the revised data, China reduced its holdings by $11 billion in February rather than the increase of $12.7 billion as previously reported.

The US Treasury Department has been recalibrating the data of foreign holdings of treasury bonds to include purchases in offshore markets.

Total foreign holdings of United States Treasury securities posted the eighth consecutive monthly increase in March, indicating strong international demand for US government debt.

In March, overall foreign holdings of US long-term securities reached $5.118 trillion , up $17.8 billion, or 0.3 percent, from the revised level of the previous month.

Japan, the second largest foreign holder of US government debt, trimmed its holdings by $2.4 billion to $1.08 trillion.

The strong demand is key to funding the US mounting deficit, which is forecast to surpass $1 trillion for the fourth consecutive fiscal year.