China blasts foreign beggar-thy-neighbor tactics over virus-hit Chinese economy
Global Times


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang. (Photo: MFA)

China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday refuted criticism from some foreign media outlets and pundits claiming Chinese economy is under heavy pressure from the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia and that it will impact the global economy.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Geng Shuang, a spokesperson for the ministry, said that China has sufficient policy tools and is working to reduce the impact of the epidemic on the Chinese and global economies.
"We believe that the Chinese economy's fundamentals and its long-term positive trend have not changed, and we have the capability to minimize the impact of epidemic on the economy," Geng said during the online briefing, adding similar reassuring assessments from the World Bank and the IMF support the view. 
He was responding to criticism about how NCP's impact on the Chinese economy will have a domino-effect on the global supply chain and global growth. 
The epidemic, which has killed more than 1,000 people and infected over 40,000 more, is set to take a toll on the growth of the world's second-largest economy in the first quarter of the year. Some analysts project GDP growth could be slashed by as much as three percentage points.
However, Chinese officials have moved swiftly to cushion the potential blow, having injected billions of dollars in liquidity into the market and offered hundreds of billions of dollars more in fiscal support to businesses. 
Officials have also been helping businesses and factories that have been shut for the better part of the month to resume operations this week, even as the nationwide battle against the virus continues.
Geng said that China's efforts have effectively reduced potential risks for the global economy, and warned against overreactions to the economic impact of the epidemic.
"In the face of a public health crisis, beggar-thy-neighbor tactics will not protect you and overreactions will only backfire," Geng said, adding that it is critical for the international community to work together to overcome the epidemic.