February 18, 2011
NEW YORK – Confidential diplomatic cables from the U.S. embassies in Beijing and Hong Kong lay bare China’s growing influence as America’s largest creditor.
The cables, obtained by WikiLeaks, show that escalating Chinese pressure prompted a procession of soothing visits from the U.S.Treasury Department. In one striking instance, a top Chinese money manager directly asked U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for a favor.
In June, 2009, the head of China’s powerful sovereign wealth fund met with Geithner and requested that he lean on regulators at the U.S. Federal Reserve to speed up the approval of its $1.2 billion investment in Morgan Stanley, according to the cables, which were provided to Reuters by a third party.
Although the cables do not mention if Geithner took any action, China’s deal to buy Morgan Stanley shares was announced the very next day.