News / Asia

    China: US Shutdown Exposes 'Ugly Side of Partisan Politics'

    A security officer holds a sign informing people on the government shutdown of Alcatraz Island, a tourist attraction operated by the National Park Service, in San Francisco, California, Oct. 1, 2013.
    A security officer holds a sign informing people on the government shutdown of Alcatraz Island, a tourist attraction operated by the National Park Service, in San Francisco, California, Oct. 1, 2013.
    Reuters
    China on Wednesday said the U.S. government shutdown had exposed “the ugly side of partisan politics” in Washington and expressed concern about its effect on the world economy.

    An editorial on the state-run Xinhua news service, considered a channel for Beijing's official views, said, “The United States, the world's sole superpower, has engaged in irresponsible spending for years.”

    The commentary said the shutdown might lead to the U.S. failing to meet its debt obligations, referring to a similar conflict in 2011 over raising the government's debt ceiling. While default was ultimately averted, the crisis resulted in Standard & Poors downgrading the rating of U.S. sovereign debt.

    “In the view of the latest political failure, a replay of the 2011 summer drama seems likely, which is certainly a concern for U.S. foreign creditors,” it said.

    China is the largest single holder of U.S. government debt, a side effect of its managed exchange rate policy, which requires it to purchase massive amounts of dollars from Chinese trading companies to hold back the yuan from appreciating.

    China's foreign exchange reserves stood at $3.58 trillion in the third quarter.

    The policy of buying up U.S. government debt has come in for increasing criticism at home, given the relatively low yields and the fact that the relative value of Chinese holdings has decreased as the Federal Reserve has continued to pour cash into money markets through its quantitative easing policy, putting downward pressure on the value of the dollar.

    The yuan has continued to appreciate this year both in absolute and trade-weighted terms, causing domestic concerns that the yuan's strength, in particular vis a vis neighboring currencies, will damage China's export competitiveness even as its economic recovery remains uncertain.

    Beijing has made moves to liberalize its currency and let the yuan strengthen, in part to help its economy restructure to focus more on domestic consumption, but most mainstream economists believe exports will continue to play a critical role for years to come.

    The U.S. shutdown went into its second day on Wednesday with no end in sight to the funding battle in Congress that triggered it. Major stock markets and the dollar fell.

    Chinese popular opinion appears mixed, with some microbloggers praising the U.S. political system for having checks and balances that would allow for the government to close. In China, they argued, a government shutdown would lead to immediate national collapse.

    Others, however, appeared less sympathetic, concurring more with the tone of Xinhua's line.

    “With no political unity to redress its policy mistake, a dysfunctional Washington is now overspending the confidence in its leadership,” the editorial said.

    It also complained of the immediate impact on foreign tourists.

    Reports on Xinhua on Wednesday quoted Chinese tourists complaining that they had taken advantage of a national holiday week in China to visit the United States, only to find many of its historic sites, museums and national parks closed.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora