US treasury bonds are one of the most important financial products in the world. They are used to price many other financial products and play a vital role in how the financial markets operate. The US treasury bond market is very active, with many participants and a high trading volume, which makes it a popular investment target. How did US treasury bond gain such a high status? Compare it with China’s national debt issuance: the market is small, trading is hardly active, and bonds have never played a big role in the market. Why have Chinese government bonds had such trouble? This case explores the similarities and differences between the two countries’ national debt market systems, to encourage new ways of thinking about the issue.