Debt debate turns America into a laughing stock: China mocks default limit 'monkey business' as it depicts the U.S. as a beggar

  • Cartoons in Chinese state media ridicule US attempts to raise debt ceiling
  • Chinese minister: Capitol 'gentlemen' are damaging America's reputation

By Simon Tomlinson
PUBLISHED: 11:15 EST, 16 October 2013 | UPDATED: 13:32 EST, 16 October 2013
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Chinese state media have been having their fun with America's protracted attempts to stave off a crippling default - even though it will likely come back to haunt them.

Cartoons depicting the U.S. as a beggar and on a life-support machine have been cropping up in publications this week as the Republicans and Democrats scrambled to agree an extension to the debt ceiling before tomorrow's deadline.

A Chinese minister has also accused the 'gentlemen' on Capitol Hill of showing little concern that their 'monkey business' had been damaging America's reputation around the world.

Default dig: Cartoons like this one depicting the U.S. begging have been cropping up in Chinese state media

Mei Xinyu, who works in the Commerce Ministry and advises the Chinese government, warned that China will likely buy fewer U.S. Treasury Bonds to limit its exposure to the world's largest economy.

It has already invested $1.3trillion in American debt.


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He told CBS News: 'Average Chinese believe (their) government is able to handle this situation and won't let it shipwreck China's economy.'

President Barack Obama talks with (from left) House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Representatives James Clyburn and Xavier Becerra during an Oval Office meeting yesterday to discuss the debt crisis

Debt fears: A graph showing the increase in US debt since 1980

Michael Pettis, an American finance professor at Peking University, said: 'If we were to see uncertainty in the U.S. economy drag through into November and December, and that caused Americans to cut back on the amount of purchases they would have normally done for Christmas, than that would affect the Chinese economy directly.'

Financial markets had taken the prospect of a U.S. default in their stride - a confidence that proved to be well placed when the Republicans finally allowed the Democrat bill to go through, avoiding a default.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 174 points, or 1.2 percent, to 15,342 in early afternoon trading, following the announcement.

Financial markets continued to take the prospect of a U.S. default in their stride today

The two houses of Congress still needed to vote on the deal, but signs were that it had enough support to go through, ending the weeks-long standoff and reopening the government.

But the same issues - funding the government and raising the debt ceiling again - could come back in January and February, unless Democrats and Republicans agree before then on a long-term program to cut the deficit.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced a plan that would fund the government through January 15 and allow the Treasury to increase the nation's borrowing authority through February 7.

Both the Democrat-controlled Senate and Republican-controlled House of Representatives must approve the plan, which President Barack Obama would then sign before Thursday's deadline for Congress to increase the federal debt limit.

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