China does not disclose how much US debt it owns, but the US Treasury publishes monthly data on all foreign holders of US debt, and China has historically been among the top foreign holders of US debt along with Japan. Photo: Shutterstock China does not disclose how much US debt it owns, but the US Treasury publishes monthly data on all foreign holders of US debt, and China has historically been among the top foreign holders of US debt along with Japan. Photo: Shutterstock
China does not disclose how much US debt it owns, but the US Treasury publishes monthly data on all foreign holders of US debt, and China has historically been among the top foreign holders of US debt along with Japan. Photo: Shutterstock

Explainer |
US debt to China: how big is it and why is it important?

  • As of the end of November, China owned US$1.063 trillion of the total outstanding US government debt issued by the US Department of the Treasury.
  • Since the start of the trade war in 2018, there has been concern over China possibly weaponising its US debt holding as a way to retaliate against trade tariffs

Topic |   US-China relations
China does not disclose how much US debt it owns, but the US Treasury publishes monthly data on all foreign holders of US debt, and China has historically been among the top foreign holders of US debt along with Japan. Photo: Shutterstock China does not disclose how much US debt it owns, but the US Treasury publishes monthly data on all foreign holders of US debt, and China has historically been among the top foreign holders of US debt along with Japan. Photo: Shutterstock
China does not disclose how much US debt it owns, but the US Treasury publishes monthly data on all foreign holders of US debt, and China has historically been among the top foreign holders of US debt along with Japan. Photo: Shutterstock
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