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China owns US

Let’s face it, whenever you owe anyone anything, there is an element of superiority involved. Whether it’s five bucks, dinner, or a date, borrowing and lending creates positions of inferiority and superiority. Just look at some examples: “I am in debt to you.” “You owe me.” “I’ll pay you back, I promise.” This is what makes me scared about the future of America. America owes so much money to China, that it effectively own America.

Our total national debt load is absurd. It recently hit $15 trillion. Just a reminder, a trillion is a one with twelve zeroes. Of that 15 trillion dollars, China owns over 1.1 trillion dollars. Even in a country with a huge economy like the U.S., that money won’t be paid back anytime soon.

With China owning nearly one 10th of our debt, there are certainly some foreign policy dilemmas created. First of all, the United States has a strong business relationship with Taiwan, a country that China considers to be a renegade province. Every so often the United States and China do a dance in which the U.S. sells weapons to Taiwan, and then China protests. With China owning so much of our debt, what we’ve been selling Taiwan, in recent years, has been of a lesser quality and not as up-to-date than previous material.

Domestically, we are being hurt by China’s ownership of American debt. To be blunt, the reason why China manufactures more goods than the U.S. is because their currency is worth so little. The Chinese government unfairly manipulates its currency, so that production costs are lower and the goods will sell for less. Politicians have protested, and China has ignored them. Those fabled American manufacturing jobs won’t come back until China allows its currency to flow into the world markets, like the rest of the world.

In the U.S., something has to be done to reduce our high debt load. Republicans and Democrats across the nation have been at odds over the solution. Republicans favor spending cuts while Democrats favor increasing taxes on the rich. I am going to take a moderate position and argue for both. On the one hand, our country does need to trip its budget and Americans should accept less handouts from the federal government. On the other hand, rich people shouldn’t get handouts, in the form of ridiculously low tax rates and a multitude of tax exemptions, either.

This is supposed to be where I conclude with an epilogue of hope, and talk about how I have faith that we will become self-reliant and stop begging China to finance our wasteful spending. I don’t know though, and I think you should figure it out with me. Go to the New York Times Interactive website and determine how you would save federal money, so that we save money and China stops owning us.

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. Jerry Alvarez says:

    Good article however we cannot only blame China for unfairly manipulating their currency. We have to recognize that our own Federal Reserve System has done that since its inception in 1913 which has caused many recessions and even the depression. We must understand that in 1913 we essentially gave them complete control over the US currency. Remember that the Fedreal Reserve Bank is a private corporation not audited by anyone in the congress, who by the US constitution is authorized to hand our monetary system. Everytime the Federal Reserve print any money, they make money on the interested the minute the paper is printed off their printing presses. This can no longer be tolerated if you agree that you do not want the US in debt to anyone, including China or the Federal Reserve.

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