First, Vice President Joe Biden explained to his Chinese counterparts that their notorious one-child policy was something he could "fully understand," and the White House tried to walk back the astounding comment.
Vice President Biden mistakenly claimed Americans own 85% of U.S. Treasury securities during his visit to China. Americans own 54% of the U.S. public debt — that is, the amount of debt held by the public. They own 69% of the total debt, which includes money the U.S. government owes itself.
At several stops in China, Vice President Biden sought to reassure the Chinese that their investments in U.S. treasuries are safe...
I'm sure that not even having a firm grasp on the numbers went a long way to "reassure" our foreign financiers.