中国持有美国国债比先前估计的还要高30%

从美国财政部的数据上看, 截止2010年12月, 美国国债的最大三个外国投资者为: 中国持有11601亿美元, 日本持有8823亿美元, 英国持有2721亿美元.

外国投资者总共持有44396亿美元的美国国债, 其中外国政府持有31561亿美元.

很有意思的是, 中国通过伦敦市场购买美国国债, 在以前却被误认为是英国投资者. 这导致了中国持有的美国国债数量被低估,
而英国的持有数量则被高估. 2010年6月, 美国财政部改进了统计方法. 中国持有的美国国债数量从8437亿美元增加到11121亿美元,
而英国的持有数量则从3637亿美元减少到945亿美元.

问:美国财政部宣布,中国持有的美国国债规模超过预期30%,中方对此有何评论?

答:这是一个经济金融类问题,应向主管部门询问。中方在外汇储备经营中始终遵循“安全、流动、保值、增值”的原则,根据国际金融市场状况、投资风险和收益等,实施多元化战略。至于中国购买哪国国债、买多少,要按照外汇安全、保值的要求决策。

Treasury: China’s holdings of US debt jump 30 percent based on annual revision of data

Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer, On Monday February 28, 2011, 5:13 pm EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — China, the biggest buyer of U.S. Treasury securities, owns a lot more than previously estimated.

In an annual revision of the figures, the Treasury Department said Monday that China’s holdings totaled $1.16 trillion at the end of December. That was an increase of 30 percent from an estimate the government made two weeks ago.

The government made the change to its monthly report based on more accurate information it obtains in an annual survey. That survey more does a better job of determining the actual owners of Treasury securities.

China was firmly in the top spot as the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury debt even before the revisions. But the big increase in Chinese holdings could ease fears that Chinese investors might begin dumping their U.S. holdings. Such a development could send U.S. interest rates rising. That would slow America’s economic recovery and increase Washington’s costs for financing the $14.3 trillion national debt.

China and Britain were the countries with the biggest revisions in the new report.

The amount of U.S. Treasury securities held by Britain fell to $272.1 billion in the new report. That’s a drop of $269.2 billion from the last monthly report which put the Britain’s holdings of U.S. debt at $541.3 billion. The holdings of the two countries often show big revisions when the annual report is released.

The reason for the change is that Chinese investors who purchase their Treasury securities in London are often counted as British investors. The more detailed annual report does a better job of tracking the countries in which investors reside as opposed to the location where investors make their purchases.

Even with the revision, Britain remained the third largest holder of U.S. Treasurys.

Japan had the second highest foreign holdings, totaling $882.3 billion at the end of December. The revision was only slightly below the original estimate.

The total foreign holdings of Treasury debt stood at $4.44 trillion at the end of December, according to the new report. That’s up 1.5 percent from the estimate made two weeks ago. About two-thirds of U.S. Treasurys owned overseas are held by foreign governments and central banks.

The U.S. government is selling huge amounts of debt to finance record-high budget deficits. The Obama administration in its new budget released on Feb. 14 projected that this year’s deficit will reach a record $1.65 trillion. It would be the third consecutive year the federal deficit has exceeded $1 trillion.

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