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China's holding of US debt tops $1.3 trillion

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

China's holding of US debt surged past $1.3 trillion for the first time in October, worth nearly $1,000 per Chinese citizen, US Treasury figures showed Monday.

And with Hong Kong thrown in, Chinese holdings of US bonds reached a record $1.44 trillion, up from $1.31 trillion a year earlier.

The creditor-debtor relationship of the world's two largest economies continued even as China hinted in October that it could slow its dollar accumulation due to the Washington political battle that had threatened a US default on its debt.

China has stepped up its warnings over the past year of the risks of huge US debt.

But with the two being each other's largest trading partner, and China enjoying a massive surplus in bilateral trade, it continues to accumulate US Treasury bonds to prevent its currency from rising too fast.

The US currency accounted for nearly 40 percent of China's total foreign reserves of $3.66 trillion at the end of the third quarter.

Japan remained the second-largest US creditor in October, holding $1.17 trillion in US debt, up from $1.13 trillion a year ago.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131216/chinas-holding-us-debt-tops-13-trillion