China’s Finance Ministry Addresses Possibility of US Treasuries Sell-off

China’s vice finance minister says that trade disputes between China and the United States are to the detriment of both countries’ interests.

At State Council press conference held on 4 April 2018, Zhu Guangyao (朱光耀) said that “China has always emphasised the mutually beneficial, joint-win nature of Sino-US economic relations.”

“This is the actual nature of Sino-US relations,” said Zhu. “In 1979, at the outset of the establishment of official relations between China and the US, Sino-US trade was only USD$2.5 billion.

“As of 2017, Sino-US trade has reached $580billion, for a more than 232-fold increase. This kind of rapid development indicates that the actual nature of Sino-US economic relations is  mutually beneficial.

“With such a large trade volume, it is difficult to avoid trade frictions. Trade frictions, we have always emphasised must be resolved in accordance with the principles of mutual respect using negotiation via policy channels, and must be resolved in accordance with WTO regulations.

“China’s position is very clear, we do not want a trade war, because the results can only be loss for both parties, harming China’s interests, harming US interests, as well as harming the prospects for global economic development.

“We hope that both China and the US will use construction methods and a wise and mutually respectful attitude to effectively resolve this issue, effectively dispose of challenges, and enable Sino-US economic relations to return to the path of healthy and stable development.”

Zhu also address questions from reports on the possibility that China could dump its copious holdings of US Treasuries.

“With respect to the issue of US Treasuries, I know that this problem has drawn widespread concern in the international community, and international capital markets are paying it a great deal of attention.

“Premier Li Keqiang provided an authoritative outline of this issue in response to a reporter’s question at a press conference held after the Two Sessions…[he] emphasised that China conducts foreign reserve operations in accordance with the laws of the market, and specific market principles and diversification principles.

“China is a responsible investor on international capital markets…I would like to explain a basic principle for China’s foreign reserve operations.

“Firstly, China certainly possesses in excess of USD$3 trillion in foreign reserves, and these are assets of the people. China’s principle for foreign reserve operations is first of all security, and the need to ensure the security of our investments. Second is liquidity, and third is moderate profits.

“For many years, China has conducted foreign reserve operations in accordance with these guiding principles to protect the security of the people’s assets. This is looking at matters from a domestic perspective.

“From an international perspective, China is a responsible investor on international capital markets, and this is evinced by our respect for the operating laws of international capital markets. We conduct specific operations under this principle.

“I believe that this outline by Premier Li Keqiang provides an extremely clear and authoritative response to the question.”

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