China "has every right" to demand the United States address its debt problem following its downgrade by Standard and Poor's, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.
Standard & Poor's has cut the US rating a notch from the top flight triple-A to AA+, saying its politicians were becoming less able to get to grips with the country's huge fiscal deficit and debt load.
In a stinging commentary, Xinhua said Washington needed to "come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone".
S&P gave a negative outlook for the US, saying there was a chance its rating could be cut again within two years if progress is not made cutting the government budget gap.
Xinhua said that unless Washington made substantial cuts to what it called the "US gigantic military expenditure and bloated social welfare costs", the downgrade would simply be a "prelude to more devastating credit rating cuts".
"China, the largest creditor of the world's sole superpower, has every right now to demand the United States to address its structural debt problems and ensure the safety of China's dollar assets," the English-language commentary said.
"To cure its addiction to debts, the United States has to re-establish the common sense principle that one should live within its means."
The commentary also hit out at "short-sighted political wrangling", saying Washington had allowed domestic electoral politics to take the global economy hostage.