#Coronavirus: China could cut US debt holdings in response to White House #COVID_19 compensation threats, analysts say
15:25, Saturday, 09 May, 2020
China may move to reduce its vast holdings of US Treasury securities in the coming months in response to a resurgence in trade tensions and a war of words between the world’s two largest economies over the origins and handling of the coronavirus outbreak, analysts said. US news reports indicated that White House officials have debated several measures to offset the cost of the coronavirus outbreak, including cancelling some or all of the nearly US$1.1 trillion debt that the United States government owes China. While analysts added that the US was highly unlikely to take the “nuclear option”, the mere fact that the idea has been discussed could well prompt Beijing to seek to insulate itself from the risk by reducing its US government debt holdings. That, in turn, could spell trouble for the US government bond market at a time when Washington is significantly ramping up new issuance to pay for a series of programmes to combat the pandemic and the economic damage it is causing.