A Chinese spokesman has leveled some of his government's harshest criticism against the United States for "initiating" the global financial crisis that has worsened conditions for workers around the world.
At Tuesday's regular briefing, a reporter from the Bloomberg News Agency asked the Chinese Foreign Ministry to respond to a U.S. State Department statement saying China could use the global financial crisis as a pretext to weaken labor rights.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang says his government firmly opposes what he describes as an "accusation" by the American side.
Instead, he says the United States initiated the global financial crisis, which has led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, worldwide.
Qin says he has spoken with people from different countries who all complain that many of their workers have lost their jobs because of the crisis.
He calls workers the "innocent victims" of the economic downturn and says he wonders what a U.S. spokesperson would say to them.
The Chinese official was asked if he feels the United States owes an apology to the workers of the world.
Qin says people have different views on opinions about and reasons for the issue. But he says if a country makes mistakes, it should "at least stop pointing fingers at others."
The Chinese spokesman was also asked to comment on why China trimmed its holdings of U.S. Treasury debt, in April. He gave no details, but repeated previous comments that China decides how much American debt to buy based on three principles: security, liquidity and good value.