While Chinese companies are in line to benefit directly from U.S. taxpayers' $700 billion-plus bailout of Wall Street, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other financial institutions, Beijing is stiffing the U.S. for $100 billion or more in unpaid debt.
The status of the Chinese economy, including its repudiated debt, has prompted one analyst to warn of an "ominous threat" involving China's finances and suggest the possibility of "a dramatic reversal" for the "so-called Chinese Miracle."
"One of the greatest problems facing China is the government's failure to acknowledge and effectively address the true extent of state institutions' bad debt," Kevin O'Brien writes in an article titled, "Reassessing China's Sovereign Risk: Emerging Global and Domestic Trends Threaten the 'Chinese Miracle."
O'Brien's report was published at a website for the Global Association of Risk Professionals, a not-for-profit independent trade association of risk management practitioners around the world. It has 77,000 members from fields such as banking, investment management and academics.
One problem that should be addressed, he writes, is the $260 billion in sovereign debt owed U.S. and other investors which China has said it simply won't repay.
"The repayment obligation was inherited by the People's Republic of China, when the communists took control in 1949. The successor government doctrine of settled international law affirms continuity of obligations among international recognized successive governments," O'Brien said.
"The PRC is the internationally recognized successor government … which contracted the credit sovereign debt … and which had a loan agreement that states that such debt is intended to be 'a binding engagement upon the Republic of China and its successors.'"
The bonds, however, were excluded from a 1979 settlement of Chinese debts and in 1987, China even "concluded a discriminatory settlement accord with bondholders in Great Britain – an agreement that excluded from settlement any bonds held by non-UK citizens."
Then in 2006, the Chinese Ministry of Finance issued an official communiqué addressed to "the Embassy of the United States of America in China," in which the Chinese government formally repudiated China's defaulted full faith and credit sovereign debt and announced that it would not repay any debt held by American citizens, O'Brien said.
The repudiation still stands, even though the China Economic Review confirmed that major Chinese banks own $8 billion in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities that are the targets of bailout provisions.
"Bank of China said last month it owned $7.5 billion in Fannie and Freddie bonds," the report continued. "The bank also held $5.2 billion in mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by the two agencies."
Those owners will be among the beneficiaries of the overall bailout plan assembled by the government and funded by taxpayers to "rescue" bad debt created by an agenda of loaning money to "subprime" recipients who may not have had the wherewithal to repay the loans.
Recipients of the U.S. taxpayers' generosity also may include various private Chinese interests with investments in American real estate and mortgage.
As recently as three weeks ago, China Investment Corp. was in active discussions to buy into U.S. financial institutions, including Morgan Stanley.
All the while Congress has been aware of the Chinese default but unwilling to mandate action.
Elton Gallegly, a California Republican in Congress, called it the "China debt syndrome."
"After Saddam Hussein's government was replaced in Iraq, China demanded that the new government pay off the debt Saddam's regime ran up against China. China prevailed and is getting 100 percent of the more than $10 billion Iraq owes it," he said in a recent commentary.
"China, however, refuses to recognize the debt its current government inherited when the communists took control in 1949. That debt includes about $260 billion on bonds issued by the former Republic of China. Of that, more than 300 American citizens are owed nearly $100 billion from bonds on which the People's Republic of China has defaulted," the congressman wrote.
"It's time China owned up to its international obligations. Pressure is the only thing China understands. And pressure works. Americans weren't the only ones owed billions when the communists seized control. British citizens were among the bondholders communist China had been ignoring. That lasted until 1987, when Great Britain enacted a law denying Chinese access to British capital markets and China responded by negotiating a settlement to pay off the bonds," he wrote.
Now, he said, China is in negotiations with France on defaulted bonds but "continues to ignore the United States."
He said worse than the actual monetary loss is the message that suggests China "does not have to play by the rules when it competes in the global economy. This helps explain