Pudong, Shanghai Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded China’s long-term local and foreign currency issuer rating to A1 from Aa3 on Tuesday, a move the ratings service indicated in March of last year. Moody’s also changed its outlook for China to stable from the negative outlook given in March of 2016.

“The downgrade reflects Moody’s expectation that China’s financial strength will erode somewhat over the coming years, with economy-wide debt continuing to rise as potential growth slows,” Moody’s said in a statement.

The Chinese Finance Ministry criticized (link in Chinese) the decision as being based on “inappropriate methodology.”