Jerry Jackson

Posts Tagged ‘China’

China Has Divested 97 Percent of Its Holdings in U.S. Treasury Bills

In Big Business, China, Human Rights, Police State, Society, World News on June 18, 2011 at 9:46 pm


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China has dropped 97 percent of its holdings in U.S. Treasury bills, decreasing its ownership of the short-term U.S. government securities from a peak of $210.4 billion in May 2009 to $5.69 billion in March 2011, the most recent month reported by the U.S. Treasury.
Treasury bills are securities that mature in one year or less that are sold by the U.S. Treasury Department to fund the nation’s debt.
Mainland Chinese holdings of U.S. Treasury bills are reported in column 9 of the Treasury report linked here.
Until October, the Chinese were generally making up for their decreasing holdings in Treasury bills by increasing their holdings of longer-term U.S. Treasury securities. Thus, until October, China’s overall holdings of U.S. debt continued to increase.
Since October, however, China has also started to divest from longer-term U.S. Treasury securities. Thus, as reported by the Treasury Department, China’s ownership of the U.S. national debt has decreased in each of the last five months on record, including November, December, January, February and March.
Prior to the fall of 2008, acccording to Treasury Department data, Chinese ownership of short-term Treasury bills was modest, standing at only $19.8 billion in August of that year. But when President George W. Bush signed legislation to authorize a $700-billion bailout of the U.S. financial industry in October 2008 and President Barack Obama signed a $787-billion economic stimulus law in February 2009, Chinese ownership of short-term U.S. Treasury bills skyrocketed.
By December 2008, China owned $165.2 billion in U.S. Treasury bills, according to the Treasury Department. By March 2009, Chinese Treasury bill holdings were at $191.1 billion. By May 2009, Chinese holdings of Treasury bills were peaking at $210.4 billion.
However, China’s overall appetite for U.S. debt increased over a longer span than did its appetite for short-term U.S. Treasury bills.
In August 2008, before the bank bailout and the stimulus law, overall Chinese holdings of U.S. debt stood at $573.7 billion. That number continued to escalate past May 2009– when China started to reduce its holdings in short-term Treasury bills–and ultimately peaked at $1.1753 trillion last October.


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As of March 2011, overall Chinese holdings of U.S. debt had decreased to 1.1449 trillion.
Most of the U.S. national debt is made up of publicly marketable securities sold by the Treasury Department and I.O.U.s called “intragovernmental” bonds that the Treasury has given to so-called government trust funds—such as the Social Security trust funds—when it has spent the trust funds’ money on other government expenses.
The publicly marketable segment of the national debt includes Treasury bills, which (as defined by the Treasury) mature in terms of one-year or less; Treasury notes, which mature in terms of 2 to 10 years; Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), which mature in terms of 5, 10 and 30 years; and Treasury bonds, which mature in terms of 30 years.
At the end of August 2008, before the financial bailout and the stimulus, the publicly marketable segment of the U.S. national debt was 4.88 trillion. Of that, $2.56 trillion was in the intermediate-term Treasury notes, $1.22 trillion was in short-term Treasury bills, $582.8 billion was in long-term Treasury bonds, and $521.3 billion was in TIPS.
At the end of March 2011, by which time the Chinese had dropped their Treasury bill holdings 97 percent from their peak, the publicly marketable segment of the U.S. national debt had almost doubled from August 2008, hitting $9.11 trillion. Of that $9.11 trillion, $5.8 trillion was in intermediate-term Treasury notes, $1.7 trillion was in short-term Treasury bills; $931.5 billion was in long-term Treasury bonds, and $640.7 billion was in TIPS.
Before the end of March 2012, the Treasury must redeem all of the $1.7 trillion in Treasury bills that were extant as of March 2011 and find new or old buyers who will continue to invest in U.S. debt. But, for now, the Chinese at least do not appear to be bullish customers of short-term U.S. debt.
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Global Military Spending Hits High But Growth Slows

In Economics, Human Rights, Military, Society, World Government, World News on April 12, 2011 at 8:28 am


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Global Military Spending

Worldwide military spending edged up in 2010 to a record $1.6 trillion, a leading think-tank said on Monday.


Global spending rose 1.3 percent in real terms, a slowdown from 5.9 percent the year before as the economic downturn caused by the 2008 financial crisis hit military spending, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said.

“In many cases, the falls or slower increases represent a delayed reaction to the global financial and economic crisis that broke in 2008,” it said in a statement, adding that there were regional differences.

Spending in Europe shrank 2.8 percent to $382 billion as governments started to rein in soaring budget deficits.

The biggest cuts were in small economies in central and eastern Europe, and in crisis-struck southern European countries such as Greece.

“Further cuts are expected in most of Europe in 2011 and subsequent years, although these are likely to remain relatively modest in the major spending countries,” SIPRI, which conducts independent research on international security, armaments and disarmament, said in a statement.


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China raps US meddling

In Activism, China, Human Rights, Military, Society, World News on April 11, 2011 at 7:44 am


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China has called on the United States to stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of human rights issues.
China raps US Meddling
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hong Lei gestures for questions at a press briefing in China’s capital Beijing

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei urged Washington to focus on its own human rights conditions, saying, “We advise the US side to reflect on its own human rights issues and not to position itself as a preacher of human rights,” the state-funded BBC reports.

“[The US should] stop using the issue of human rights reports to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs,” the Chinese politician added.

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Hong says China welcomes talks about rights on the basis of equality and mutual respect. However, he added that Beijing resolutely opposes meddling in other countries’ affairs.

The development comes following the annual release of US State Department’s report on human rights, which criticized China for rights abuses.

The American report, considered by many observers as more of a political document against countries not in good terms with the US, accused Beijing of stepping up restrictions on lawyers and journalists.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also claimed on Friday that Beijing’s record on human rights was worsening.

“We remain deeply concerned about reports that since February, dozens of people including public-interest lawyers, writers, artists, intellectuals and activists have been arbitrarily detained and arrested,” Clinton said.

The Asian country has also been accused by the US of tightening controls on civil liberties and imposing more restraints over the press and internet access.




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WikiLeaks: US and China in military standoff over space missiles

In China, Human Rights, Wikileaks, World News on February 4, 2011 at 6:45 am

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The United States threatened to take military action against China during a secret “star wars” arms race within the past few years, according to leaked documents obtained by The Daily Telegraph.

The two nuclear superpowers both shot down their own satellites using sophisticated missiles in separate show of strength, the files suggest.  The American Government was so incensed by Chinese actions in space that it privately warned Beijing it would face military action if it did not desist. The Chinese carried out further tests as recently as last year, however, leading to further protests from Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, secret documents show.

 

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Beijing justified its actions by accusing the Americans of developing an “offensive” laser weapon system that would have the capability of destroying missiles before they left enemy territory.

The disclosures are contained in the latest documents obtained by the Wikileaks website, which have been released to The Telegraph. They detail the private fears of both superpowers as they sought mastery of the new military frontier.

 

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