A Chinese official warned American politicians on Monday that “the clock is ticking” down to a dangerous default on U.S. debt, calling on them to come to an agreement over raising the debt ceiling.
“We ask that the United States earnestly takes steps to resolve in a timely way the political issues around the debt ceiling and prevent a US debt default to ensure the safety of Chinese investments in the United States,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhu Guangyao told reporters in Beijing. “This is the United States’ responsibility.”
China has good reason to be concerned: the country is the largest single foreign creditor to the U.S. government, holding at least an estimated $1.3 trillion in bonds. Republicans in Congress are so far refusing to raise the country’s borrowing limit, which will be hit on Oct. 17, without major accompanying spending cuts.