BEIJING (AP) -- China, the biggest holder of U.S. Treasury debt, appealed to Washington on Wednesday to take steps to boost confidence in the dollar and protect its investors.
China's foreign currency regulator cited reports by rating agencies such as Standard & Poor's about possible risks to the U.S. sovereign credit rating amid conflict over whether to increase the amount the government can borrow.
China held some $1.15 trillion in Treasury debt as of the end of April, according to U.S. government data. Chinese leaders have repeatedly appealed to Washington to avoid measures that might erode the value of the dollar and those holdings.
"We hope the U.S. government concretely takes responsible policy measures to increase the confidence of international financial markets and respects and safeguards investors' interests," the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said in a statement.
It echoed a similar appeal issued by China's foreign ministry last week.
Beijing buys Treasurys to stockpile dollars purchased by its central bank in currency markets to restrain the rise of China's tightly controlled yuan against the dollar.
A Cabinet researcher, Yu Bin, said last week Beijing needs to "seriously assess the risks" of the latest U.S. financial moves to its debt holdings.
Also last week, a Chinese rating agency put U.S. sovereign debt on watch for a possible downgrade. The Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. said it would take action if there was no improvement in the U.S. "repayment ability or willingness."