Xinhua Criticizes U.S. ‘China Threat’ Rhetoric on Manufacturing Overcapacity

Chinese state media outlet Xinhua rebuked U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s remarks regarding China’s manufacturing overcapacity, dismissing them as a revival of “China threat” rhetoric and a potential pretext for further protectionist measures from the United States.

In an editorial published late on Friday, Xinhua asserted that Yellen’s comments aimed to undermine China’s domestic growth and international cooperation. The editorial suggested that Washington should prioritize fostering innovation and competitiveness within its own borders instead of resorting to fear-mongering tactics.

Yellen had expressed concerns about the global economic repercussions of China’s excess manufacturing capacity during her visit to Guangzhou, where she met with U.S. business representatives. She specifically highlighted China’s overproduction of electric vehicles, solar panels, semiconductors, and other goods, warning of the adverse effects on both China’s economy and producers in other countries.

Xinhua criticized Yellen’s focus on Chinese overcapacity in the clean energy sector, characterizing it as a potential justification for implementing protectionist policies to shield U.S. companies. The editorial implied that the U.S. has a track record of resorting to protectionism under the guise of national security, particularly in areas where its dominance is challenged.

Yellen’s meetings in China included discussions with Vice Premier He Lifeng and Guangdong Province Governor Wang Weizhong in Guangzhou, followed by scheduled meetings in Beijing with officials such as Premier Li Qiang and People’s Bank of China Governor Pan Gongsheng. The editorial suggested that these discussions should prioritize constructive dialogue and cooperation rather than perpetuating confrontational narratives.