With the United States experiencing a severe economic slump and the eurozone mired deep in a messy debt crisis, the global economy is teetering on the brink of a double-dip recession.
For some in the United States, surplus countries like China, Germany and Japan are not helpful in re-balancing the world economy, or even should be held responsible for the flagging global economic activity.
This conviction has led them to repeatedly exert pressure on surplus countries to reduce exports and appreciate their currencies. China, with strong trade and foreign exchange balance sheets, always stands out as a perfect target.
But this approach to tackling the global financial crisis is not only wrong but also dangerous.
It has generally been held as self-evident that the current global financial crisis is a result of an inadequately regulated Wall Street and major macro-economic policy blunders by the U.S. government.
Since the financial crisis broke out more than three years ago, the world economy has shown a bleak picture. Given the serious risks faced by the global economy and continued market volatility, ensuring growth should be the top priority for the world's leading developed and developing economies.
Without growth, the United States has no way to bring down its staggering 9.1 percent unemployment rate, nor can the debt-ridden eurozone countries generate enough revenues to cut their mounting deficits.
However, to achieve balanced growth not only needs the surplus countries to gradually change their economic structure and increase domestic demand, but also requires the deficit countries to implement long-delayed structural reform and sharpen the competitive edge of their economies.
China, in the past few years, has been actively boosting its domestic demand and gradually appreciating its currency, which has contributed positively to the world economic recovery.
If China and other surplus countries are repeatedly asked to revalue their currencies and reduce exports, this risks killing the growth momentum in those countries.
The misplaced blame will not lead to balanced global economic growth. On the contrary, it might result in a "balanced recession," which is in no one's interest.