Business / Economy

Chinese ambassador refutes claims against China amid global market fluctuation

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-02-17 16:46

WASHINGTON - Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai on Tuesday rejected accusations against China for the current global market fluctuation, saying that China's contribution to the global economy remains strong and that it is playing "a pioneering role" in the structural reform that the world desperately needs.

In an opinion piece published on the Wall Street Journal, Cui said China, for no logical reason, is "often used as a scapegoat for the current global market fluctuation," which includes the slumping stocks, continued decline in oil prices and the volatility of the values of currencies in emerging markets since the start of the year.

Cui highlighted a few points to help people understand the reality behind the world-wide economic volatility.

First, China's economic growth remains strong and its contribution to the world economy remains impressive.

Cui said the growing middle class is now the driving force of consumption in China. According to the World Bank, the Chinese economy grew at an average annual rate of 8.7 percent between 2009 and 2014, compared with the world average of 2 percent.

In the same period, China was the stimulant behind 30 percent of global economic growth. In 2015, China was still one of the largest and fastest-growing economies, with a growth rate of 6.9 percent, and it contributed 25 percent to global economic growth.

Second, China's real economy in the long term has not been harmed by the stock market turmoil that began in August. The fluctuations in the still developing stock market "shouldn't be taken as reflective of general sentiment about the Chinese economy or its overall performance," he wrote.

Third, Cui rejected implications by news outlets that the Chinese government has intentionally devalued the Chinese currency, the yuan, to boost exports.

"This claim is false," Cui said. "While the economic slowdown has contributed, China's currency depreciation is mainly the result of an exchange rate reform launched last year to follow international standards and to establish a more flexible system linked to a basket of currencies, thus letting markets play the decisive role."

Cui said that the reform has worked.

"Recently, the yuan has appreciated significantly against both the US dollar and the basket of currencies, showing its value can rise and fall," he wrote.

Fourth, downward pressure on oil prices is largely attributable to competition for global market share between traditional oil suppliers and new shale oil producers, while the lifting of sanctions against Iranian oil exports has also contributed to lower oil prices.

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