China

China media: Credit ratings

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Image caption A high score from a credit-rating agency means cheaper borrowing

Papers want China to have a bigger say in the international credit ratings system to end the "monopoly" of Western agencies.

Western rating agencies Standard & Poor's (S&P), Moody's, and Fitch Group are known as the Big Three.

The ratings are given to large-scale borrowers, whether companies or governments, and are an indication to buyers of this debt how likely they are to be paid back.

The scorecard can also affect the amount that companies or governments are charged to borrow money.

According to the China News Service, Dagong Global Credit Rating, China's largest ratings agency, has assigned a high A- investment rating to Russia's Gazprombank.

Last month, Dagong had given the bank's parent company, Gazprom, one of its best outlooks in the industry, contrasting with lower ratings given to the energy giant by Western agencies.

The recent assessment from the Chinese agency notes that Russia's third largest bank has built a strong system of risk management and has a "stable outlook", the state-run news agency adds.

The report also highlights that the company welcomes the Chinese scorecard, describing it as an "objective and an important one".

Sanctions and the tumbling oil price have sent the Russian economy spiralling into recession, following the crisis in Ukraine.

Analysts have observed that Gazprombank intends to extend its ties to China and other countries in Asia.

A commentary in the Haiwai Net calls for "more Chinese voices" to end the "monopoly" of Western credit-rating agencies.

The article points out that Western agencies are often biased and "politicised" because they make their assessments based on "Western democratic values".

Noting that the Big Three, with two of them based in the US, have "monopolised" the market, the article quotes Zhao Xijun, a finance expert with Renmin University, as saying that the current situation "does not represent the global structure".

"The US economy represents only 20% of the global economy. Other countries, including China, have a much bigger share, yet these countries do not have any internationally influential credit-rating agencies," argues the pundit.

'China threat theory'

And finally, state media downplay the "China threat theory" as the country becomes the world's third-largest exporter of arms, after the US and Russia.

According to a report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), China overtook Germany, France and the UK in exporting weapons between 2010 and 2014, and now accounts for about 5% of the world's exports of arms.

The Xinhua News Agency questions the method used by the research institute, while highlighting that the US has "taken a firm lead" as the top arms exporter.

"It (the method) has more or less exaggerated the figures of China and Russia while deflating that of the United States," the agency quotes experts as saying.

It adds that the institute is pushing up China's ranking to "serve the West's China threat theory".

The article dismisses the theory, arguing that China's arms exports' growth is "reasonable and natural" giving its economic strength and the advancement in technology.

"But the country follows its principles in arms exports, and will never cast threat to any other countries through arms sales," assures the state media.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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