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China’s state news agency Xinhua said Monday that anti-corporate protests in New York had exposed what it called “fundamental problems” with the US economic and political systems.
The Occupy Wall Street protests, which have spread across the United States since they began on September 17 in a New York park, have been widely covered in China’s media and attracted much comment on the country’s popular social media sites.
Xinhua said they showed “a clear need for Washington, which habitually rushes to demand other governments to change when there are popular protests in their countries, to put its own house in order.”
“Their frustration has exposed some fundamental problems with the economic and political system of the world’s sole superpower,” it said.
“First of all, Washington should rein in its runaway financial sector. The Wall Street, as the global financial centre, has its role to play in allocating resources more efficiently not only for the United States but also for the world economy.”
China is the largest foreign holder of US debt, with around $1.17 trillion in US Treasury bonds, and has repeatedly appealed for financial stability amid fears the United States could tip back into recession.
“If Washington fails to heed the calls of the protesters and address its fundamental problems, its messy house could become a headache for others in the world as well,” Xinhua said.
Beijing is also grappling with social unrest on its own soil as the gap between rich and poor grows, although protests in China rarely receive much coverage in the country’s state-controlled media.
Many Chinese web users have in recent days turned to the weibos — microblogs similar to Twitter — to post their views on the US protests, which US President Barack Obama said were an expression of public anger over a moribund economy.
“The United States always orders other nations to open its exchange rates and markets,” said one posting by Niumowang.
“Meanwhile internally they use extreme media tactics to fool the people in supporting the wars… until the people cannot take it anymore and their anger flows.”