China should rest easy that its investments in the dollar remain safe, the newly arrived US ambassador in Beijing, Gary Locke, said yesterday, adding that the world's two biggest economies could find common ground despite economic and political strains.
In his previous job as US commerce secretary, Locke often chided China over its trade policies, but in his first media appearance since taking up his new job in Beijing he gave a more benign message of potential cooperation.
"The United States and China have a profoundly important and complex diplomatic and economic relationship, one with challenges, to be sure, but which also holds great promise for expanded cooperation and collaboration," Locke told reporters.
Since Standard & Poor's cut its credit rating for long-term US debt in early August, Chinese state media have accused Washington of reckless fiscal policies that have created uncertainty about Beijing's big holdings of dollar assets.
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Analysts estimate Beijing has put about two-thirds of its $3.2 trillion foreign exchange reserves, the world's largest, in dollars and is the United States' biggest foreign creditor. "It's a clear indication that investment in the United States is safe, secure and that the economy, while having its challenges, is still strong," he said.