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Does China own the US?

As alleged by many including this reporter, China owns the US, to some extent. How much? According to analysis by Tim Murse at, the Chinese own about 8% of America’s debt. However, there is something “funny” about how that is determined. In his analysis of a few years ago, of the $14.3 trillion debt, the Social Security Trust Fund holds $3 trillion and the Federal Reserve holds $2 trillion. Well, that’s funny money. First of all, I bet citizens on Social Security don’t feel good about that. Second, the Federal Reserve is just a manipulation of the books.

US takes China spies to court
Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Murse reported that China owns more debt than all of the personal debt of US citizens, which is the basis for concluding that they own us. Then again, his final conclusion is that when all is tallied Americans are still holding more of the bag than the Chinese.

No matter how you assess the situation, it’s a pickle that we need to escape from. The current criminal case against the Chinese government need to be used as a means for accomplishing a few things:

1. Gain more respect from the Chinese government for our trading partnership.

2. Awaken Americans to the consequences of our insatiable appetite for debt and the things that drive it.

3. Improve our international relationship through the painful legal process and diplomacy.

“How Much U.S. Debt Does China Really Own?

The U.S. debt was more than $14.3 trillion during the so-called debt crisis of 2011, when the level of borrowing reached its statutory limit and the president warned of a potential default if the cap wasn't raised.

See also: 5 Presidents Who Raised the Debt Ceiling

So who owns all that U.S. debt?

About 32 cents for every dollar of U.S. debt, or $4.6 trillion, is owned by the federal government in trust funds, for Social Security and other programs such as retirement accounts, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury.
China and U.S. Debt

The largest portion of U.S. debt, 68 cents for every dollar or about $10 trillion, is owned by individual investors, corporations, state and local governments and, yes, even foreign governmentssuch as China that hold Treasury bills, notes and bonds.

Foreign governments hold about 46 percent of all U.S. debt held by the public, more than $4.5 trillion. The largest foreign holder of U.S. debt is China, which owns more about $1.2 trillion in bills, notes and bonds, according to the Treasury.

In total, China owns about 8 percent of publicly held U.S. debt. Of all the holders of U.S. debt China is the third-largest, behind only the Social Security Trust Fund's holdings of nearly $3 trillion and the Federal Reserve's nearly $2 trillion holdings in Treasury investments, purchased as part of its quantitative easing program to boost the economy.”

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