WASHINGTON (AFP) - Treasury Secretary John Snow denied that China has the United States in an economic stranglehold but renewed demands for greater currency flexibility from Beijing.
Addressing a call-in show on the C-SPAN television network, Snow was asked whether China's heavy holdings of US government bonds left Washington vulnerable if Beijing were to flex its military or diplomatic muscles.
"No, I don't think so, and I don't think that's the way it would play out," the Treasury chief said.
"Remember, people who own US securities have an interest in seeing that paper, whether it's equities or debt paper, sustain its value," he said.
"China is a large holder, a sizeable holder of US paper. But it's not large relative to the whole market. If the value of our paper were to fall, they would find they had a large loss of net wealth. It's not in their interests."