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Chinese 100 Yuan notes are counted at a bank in Shanghai.

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The Chinese, as David mentioned, are watching this whole thing very, very closely. And China's Foreign Ministry said today it's hoping the U.S. will take a responsible attitude to protect investor interests.

Marketplace's China Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz reports.


ROB SCHMITZ: China's been buying America for years. It now owns more than ten percent of United States' outstanding debt, says Stephen Green, an economist with Standard Chartered.

STEPHEN GREEN: So China is clearly not interested in the U.S. defaulting, or getting anywhere near defaulting.

Because that means China, won't get paid. It's not just U.S. debt that China is worried about. It's U.S. growth, too. The Federal Reserve is thinking about buying up government bonds again to pump life into the U.S economy, it's known as 'quantitative easing.'

A Chinese government economist said that's a bad idea. It would bring down the value of the dollar, and that would drive up the price of iron ore and other commodities and that would make it more expensive for China to grow. But at the same time, says Green, China's stuck. Its economy is so tied up in the U.S. economy that it needs the U.S. to keep growing.

GREEN: What does china want? Does it want quantitative easing to end and the economy to slow down? Or does it want growth?

What's clear is in the coming weeks, Beijing will join millions of Americans in keeping a close eye on what happens on Capitol Hill.

In Shanghai, I'm Rob Schmitz, for Marketplace.

About the author

Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent in Shanghai.

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