China's foreign exchange reserves declined in the fourth quarter of 2011, the People's Bank reported (English language report). It was the first drop since the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998.
Holdings of foreign wealth fell to $3.18 trillion at the end of last year from $3.2 trillion at the end of September -- a .625 percent decrease.
The U.S. monthly trade deficit with China grew in December to $47.8 billion. The annual trade deficit with China for 2010 was $273 billion.
In the U.S., recent public opinion polls indicate that nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Americans believe China practices unfair trade. China's trade balances with other nations do not necessarily support the view that China practices unfair trade. Of China's top ten trade partners in 2010, only the U.S., Hong Kong, and India had trade deficits. Developed countries, including Japan, Germany, South Korea and Taiwan, enjoyed sizable trade with surpluses.
China Trade Balances With Top Ten Partners 2010 graphic table by scribillare.com
China Trade Balances With Top Ten Partners 2010 by scribillare.com
The January 5, 2012 U.S. Strategic Guidance document, which states the U.S. "will continue to make the necessary investments to ensure that we maintain regional access and the ability to operate freely" (in regions of the Pacific important to China), indicates that little policy change should be expected.
This article was co-published at scribillare.com