Chinese Foreign Exchange Reserves, Policy Choices, and the U.S. Economy

Christopher J. Neely


China is both a major trading partner of the United States and the largest official holder of U.S. assets in the world. The value of Chinese foreign exchange reserves peaked at just over $4 trillion in June 2014 but has since declined to $3.19 trillion (as of August 2016). This very large decline in foreign exchange reserves is unprecedented, and some analysts have speculated that continued sales of these (mostly U.S.) assets might significantly impact the U.S. and global economies. This article explains the reasons for this large decline in official assets, China’s available policy choices, and how these choices could affect the U.S. economy.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.