China owns $1.17 trillion of US debt this year, a tad higher than last year's $1.16 trillion. One estimate is that China earns an average return of 0.33% on its US debt instruments, compared to an average 2.13% on Chinese domestic debt return. China is also awash in its own debt, much of it "off-budget." The number of Chinese elderly who will soon need expensive care is roughly equal to the entire US population. In short, its unlikely that China will increase substantially its exposure to US debt. So, our biggest creditor, the print-money-happy Federal Reserve, will have to step up in case China doesn't rush on over to finance our debt. Unless of course Congress gets control of federal finances. Not likely under this administration's love affair with government as panacea. It's not so much spending, it's not so much revenue, and it's not even the deficit, the annual shortfall of revenues compared to spending. It's debt that matters, all those previous deficits added together that need need to be paid back someday. (Figures from WSJ editorial).