This New York Times article delves into the management of both China and Japan’s reserves.
One interesting tidbit -- the article suggests China’s reserves are now close to $600 billion. The last reported number for China’s reserves was $515 billion, at the end of September.
Two possible explations for the difference:
One -- the pace of reserve accumulation accelerated in October and November, from say $15 billion a month to $20 billion or more ...
Two -- the people managing the People’s Bank of China’s Money are also managing the reserves transferred to two state banks as part of China’s bank recapitalization plan, adding $45 billion to the total.
The investment bankers in Hong Kong pitching ideas to China’s money managers would tend to know if China is doing something new with its reserves ... including buying more euros and pounds at the margin.
"Some bankers and economists say that dollar-denominated securities over all represent a slowly declining share of China’s recent purchases. But no figures are available on how quickly Beijing may be shifting to other currency holdings, so its effect on the underlying demand for dollars is unclear."