Economist David Malpass takes an elevator at Trump Tower for a reported meeting with President-elect Donald Trump in New York City on December 2, 2016. Photo: AFP
US Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs David Malpass. Photo: AFP

The US Treasury’s top diplomat had some less-than-diplomatic words for China last week, decrying what he described as the country’s shift away from market-oriented policy.

Speaking at an event hosted by Washington, DC-based think tank The Hudson Institute, David Malpass, undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs, accused China of taking advantage of the global system to the detriment of other countries.

“While [China] professes to embrace globalization and openness, in practice its trade regime is mercantilistic and restrictive, and China has not embraced fair and market oriented policies,” Malpass said.

“China takes advantage of the open investment climate provided by the US and other countries, but does not offer or allow a reciprocal investing relationship,” he added.

He went on to warn that “as China’s portion of world GDP increases, China’s direction away from markets is a key risk in the long-term global growth outlook.”

At a separate event on Wednesday, Malpass implored that China should no longer be “congratulated” by the world for its progress and policies.

In his role at the Treasury Department, Malpass oversees policies in the areas of international finance, trade in financial services, investment, economic development, and international debt policy.

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