How Much Money Does the United States Owe To China?

As you are likely well aware, the United States has a staggeringly high public debt load. At the time that this article was written, the total US public debt load was approximately $14.1 trillion.

How much of this money is owed to China?

As of December/2010, the United States owed China $1.164 trillion.

There is currently $4.3 trillion owed to countries such as China, Japan and the United Kingdom. China owns roughly 27% of this total.

The United States currently has a public outstanding debt total of over $14.1 trillion. Of this total, China owns roughly 8%.

China FlagInteresting note - it initially appeared as though China was slowing down their purchases of US debt in 2010. The United Kingdom, on the other hand, was rapidly ramping up their purchases - so much so, in fact, that the United Kingdom's holdings of US debt increased over 200% in 2010.

But wait - the US Treasury Department later revealed that it was China that was behind most of the United Kingdom's frantic buying of US debt. China was buying hundreds of billions of dollars worth of US Treasuries through UK-based money managers, which meant that the purchases were initially credited to the United Kingdom. The US Treasury Department recalculated their results, and China ended up being credited for the vast majority of the purchases that were initially credited to the UK.


In case you were curious, Japan owns the second-highest amount of US debt ($875.9 billion).

Source: United States Debt Clock