Kerry says US will work to end fiscal crisis

Updated: 2013-10-10 14:21


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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei - US Secretary of State John Kerry assured China's Premier Li Keqiang the United States was committed to resolving a fiscal impasse after the Chinese leader raised the issue in a meeting on the sidelines of an Asian summit in Brunei, a senior State Department official said on Thursday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Kerry made clear that the US government shutdown, now in its ninth day, and friction over the US budget "is a moment in Washington politics and reaffirmed the President's commitment to resolving the issue."

The official said the debt issue was "briefly referenced" during the meeting.

China is the biggest holder of US debt and some Chinese officials have raised concerns over a drawn-out crisis in Washington. According to data from the US Treasury, Beijing holds $1.28 trillion of Treasury debt. It also has additional US agency debt.

The US Congress has so far failed to strike a deal to raise the US government's $16.7 trillion borrowing limit, which is set to expire on October 17, roiling markets and pushing the dollar close to its recent eight-month low against other major currencies.

"They also agreed that the United States has one of the strongest economies in the world and that they have a shared interest in continuing the close economic working relationship," the official added.