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A number of scenarios exist that would involve China’s government taking coercive action to dump or threaten to sell off U.S. bonds, Mr. Freeman said.

“If they perceive us as wounded, they might be willing to suffer in the short term to accomplish larger goals,” he said.

Also, the report’s assertion that dumping U.S. securities would be inflicting harm on China “assumes a domestic economic stability [in China] that may not exist ,” he said. “The situation is much more complex than that.”

Twitter, Facebook rule

Social media guru Amy Jo Martin says traditional news media, currently in financial trouble, should look to Twitter and Facebook for the future, as the social media transform global communication and interaction.

“While strides are being made in the social-media space, the newspaper and news business should continue to embrace social media,” Ms. Martin tells Inside the Ring.

Her new book, “Renegades Write the Rules,” is one of the first to reveal the potential practical and financial potential of new social-media tools.

She says the key for both individuals and institutions using Twitter and Facebook is to combine risk and innovation. A committed devotee of the emerging new media, Ms. Martin, in her book, presents both strategy and tactics for effectively employing it.

In addition to news, social media are allowing people living under secretive, oppressive regimes to make their opinions known around the world, openly and quickly, Ms. Martin said.

“Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage,” she said.

“Governments can no longer control 100 percent of the story. Time and geographical boundaries disappear. In places like China and all over the Middle East, social-media outlets are being used to expose and hold accountable public officials that don’t want to be held accountable for corruption and human rights abuses.”

In Libya and Egypt, the dictatorships attempted to censor and shut down social media sites, but “the most tech savvy renegades have found alternatives,” she said.

“They turn to proxy servers, online gaming sites or even dating sites to squeeze under the radar and continue the conversation,” she said. “New connections allow the masses to mobilize [and] accelerate the process of change.”

As for China, Ms. Martin warns that authenticity is vital on social media and China’s government has encouraged officials to set up accounts on social media to spread government messages. Beijing also employs people to pose as ordinary citizens to defense government policies on social media.

“Social media allows people to be hyper-connected and causes them to swarm around what matters most at any given moment,” she said.

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