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Gary Locke reassures China on dollar assets

(China Daily)

08:06, August 15, 2011


New US ambassador to China Gary Locke is surrounded by journalists outside his residence in Bejing on Sunday during his first meeting with the media after arriving on Friday night.(China Daily Photo)

BEIJING - China's dollar investments in the United States remain safe despite concerns following the credit rating downgrade, Gary Locke, the new US ambassador to China, said on Sunday.

Since Standard & Poor's cut its credit rating for long-term US debt in early August, Washington's fiscal policy, and the uncertainty it has caused for Beijing's large holdings of dollar assets, have been under fire in the Chinese media.

Beijing has urged Washington to take "responsible" measures to raise market confidence in the dollar and US government debt.

Much of Beijing's $3.2 trillion foreign exchange reserves are invested in US government bonds.

According to the US Treasury Department, China, the largest foreign holder of US Treasury bonds, increased its holdings by $7.3 billion to $1.16 trillion in May, the second straight month it increased them.

Asked about Chinese disquiet over US credit worthiness, Locke said President Barack Obama and Congress had mapped out a "path ensuring the fiscal integrity of the US".

He said US Treasury bonds were still finding buyers despite the downgrade.

"It's a clear indication that investment in the US is safe, secure and that the economy, while having its challenges, is still strong," he said during his debut meeting with members of the media outside his Beijing residence.

The former US commerce secretary arrived in Beijing on Friday night.

"My wife and our children are very excited to be moving here to build new friendship between the people of the US and China, and to continue to expand our two countries' growing cooperation and collaboration on key bilateral and international issues," he said.

The 61-year-old Locke was nominated by Obama in March after Jon Huntsman stepped down to seek the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential election.

"The most important is to promote stronger and better understanding between the people of the US and China at all levels," Locke said.

He noted that there are differences between China and the US. "We cannot ignore them."
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Hammad Sethi at 2011-08-1692.40.253.*
Christians need to be honest, and realistic... It is not the Chinese Yuan that is undervalued... It is the US Dollar, the Euro, and the Pound Sterling that are overvalued... At the end of the day these currencies are only paper...
Nicole at 2011-08-1558.172.97.*
Gary Locke must necessarily be pro-America by birth, citizenship and high office.
  

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