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China Threatens to Dump U.S. Treasury Bonds Over Taiwan Arms Sales

China threatens to dump U.S. Treasuries over arms sales to Taiwan. One day it will probably realize that always crying Wolf! means eventually people stop paying attention.

Jul 31, 2020
Majors General Zhu Chenghu and Luo Yuan and Colonel Ke Chungqio of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army were quotedin an official Chinese publication calling for the Chinese government to retaliate against the United States economically for the recent decisionto sell $6.4 billion of arms to Taiwan. China has already announced unspecified sanctions against U.S. companies that participate in the sale.
Luo, also a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, doesn’t think those sanctions go far enough. He told China’s Outlook Weekly:
“We should go in for a strategic mix of retaliation across politics, military matters, diplomacy and economics… For example, we could sanction them using economic means, such as by dumping some US government bonds.”
China has quitethehistoryof threatening to dump its U.S. Treasury bond holdings in retaliation for unspecified U.S. actions or to achieve specific economic ends. Reuters notesthat China is currently the largest holder of U.S. Treasuries, and has actually doubled its holdings since 2007.
Some economists think it’s all just posturing, particularly as the military has little influence over economic regulators in China. India’s Daily News & Analysis reportsthat most analysts recognize that if China dumps its Treasuries, it will do as much damage to its own economy as to the United States’:
[Patrick Chovanec, associate professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing said] “The Chinese economy continues to depend on exporting products for dollars – and accumulating even more dollars,” noted Chovanac. Chinese exports, GDP growth employment — all of it depended on China’s continued ability to sell product for dollars.
In other words, selling Treasuries would devalue the dollar, causing China to hurt its own ability to export to the United States — which is still the engine of its economy. Furthermore, Chovanec added that if China simply wanted to devalue the dollar, it could stop artificially devaluing its currency against the dollar, which is what the United States wants and China has resisted for years.
Dumping U.S. Treasuries en massewould be the economic equivalent of China cutting off its nose to spite its face, and the people in charge of China’s economy recognize that (for now). That there are some there who value the One-China policy above all else is little surprise; that they’re not in charge of China’s economy should come as little, too.
Hajra Shannon

Hajra Shannon

Hajra Shannona is a highly experienced journalist with over 9 years of expertise in news writing, investigative reporting, and political analysis. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Columbia University and has contributed to reputable publications focusing on global affairs, human rights, and environmental sustainability. Hajra's authoritative voice and trustworthy reporting reflect her commitment to delivering insightful news content. Beyond journalism, she enjoys exploring new cultures through travel and pursuing outdoor photography
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