China's Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday called on "relevant nations" to take "concrete and responsible fiscal and monetary policies" to restore the confidence of global investors.Wen's remarks were the first to be made by the government of China, the largest foreign holder of US debt, since an unprecedented downgrade of the United States' credit rating last week.They came as stock markets around the world plunged to fresh lows in a massive sell-off driven by fears of a new global recession, before US stocks rebounded strongly in early trade Tuesday, surging well over one percent.China "demands that relevant nations take concrete and responsible fiscal and monetary policies to trim their fiscal deficits and resolve their debt problems... to maintain global investor confidence," Wen told a cabinet meeting.
"China supports relevant parties' efforts to maintain financial stability and economic growth," he added, in comments published on the government's website.
"The international community should strengthen the communication and coordination of macroeconomic policies to promote the strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the global economy."
Wen's comments came days after ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the US from a top-flight AAA to an AA+ rating, largely because of the failure of US leaders to reach a consensus on containing the country's spiralling debt.China, which held about $1.2 trillion in US debt at the end of June, has used its state media to launch an extraordinary barrage of criticism at the United States and, to a lesser extent, Europe.On Monday, an editorial in the People's Daily -- the mouthpiece of China's Communist Party -- accused Western nations of putting the global economic recovery at risk by "ignoring their responsibility"."If developed countries including the US and European Union don't take responsibility, it will impair the stable development of the global economy severely," the newspaper said.
"Only if Western nations stop ignoring their responsibility and use a sharp blade of determination and courage to cut through the ropes binding their policies and strengthen coordination with developing countries will the global economy have hope of a stable recovery."The article appeared under the name Zhong Sheng, which means "voice of China", and is often tagged to editorials in the People's Daily.
China's official Xinhua news agency has urged Washington's Democrats and Republicans to stop blaming each other over the downgrade and find solutions.
"Disappointingly, instead of reflecting on themselves and sitting down to fix problems in a cooperated way, the Democrats and Republicans... are questioning the credibility of the downgrade ruling and blaming each other," it said in a commentary on Monday.
But the influential news agency was more moderate in another commentary, this one posted early on Wednesday with the title "Time to repair dented investor confidence".
It warned that "understandably, investors are just a trigger away from global panic".
However, criticism of political leaders in the US was far more restrained than before, citing only the "disappointingly low efficiency of politically divided Washington in making difficult decisions".On top of concern about the eurozone and US debt, Chinese inflation of 6.5 percent, the highest level in three years, has raised the chances of interest rate hikes that would curb economic activity in the world's second biggest economy.