The looming prospect of a US default on debt prompted China to call for the world to “de-Americanize”, amid warnings of a new global recession.
In China, Xinhua, the official government news agency, said that as American politicians continued to flounder over a deal to break the impasse, “it is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world”.
The jibe came as Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund chief, raised the spectra of a repeat of the 2008 financial crash as hopes dwindled for a resolution of the crisis over the debt ceiling and partial government shutdown.
Harry Reid, the leader of the Democrat-controlled Senate and Mitch McConnell, who heads the Republican minority, met on Sunday for “preliminary” talks following the acrimonious collapse of negotiations between the White House and Republicans in the lower chamber.
Jack Lew, the Treasury secretary, has said that the US will run out of money to pay its bills on Thursday if Congress does not authorize an increase in federal borrowing limits.
Ms. Lagarde (left) repeated her warning about the impact of failing to raise the debt ceiling following the fund’s annual meeting of finance ministers in Washington.
“If there is that degree of disruption, that lack of certainty, that lack of trust in the US signature, it would mean massive disruption the world over,” she told NBC’s Meet the Press program. “And we would be at risk of tipping, yet again, into recession.”
Xinhua attacked America’s pre-eminent position in the world, adding that “such alarming days when the destinies of others are in the hands of a hypocritical nation have to be terminated”.
State-run newspapers nonetheless have also noted the inseparable economic ties which bind China and the US together. China is the biggest foreign holder of US Treasury bonds, worth a total of $1.28 trillion according to American government data.
“The cyclical stagnation in Washington for a viable bipartisan solution over a federal budget and an approval for raising debt ceiling has again left many nations’ tremendous dollar assets in jeopardy and the international community highly agonized,” said the commentary.
Back in Washington, Mr. Reid did not strike a particularly optimistic tone as he described the first meeting with Mr. McConnell. “I hope that our talking is some solace to the American people and the world,” was the best he could offer after leaving the discussions.