Like a fading beauty that gets agitated when she hears that it is time to act her age and accept the truth, the US cannot tolerate criticism of its irresponsible fiscal policy.
Perhaps too used to giving lectures for so long, the US is losing its head in the face of mounting domestic and international pressure of its broken system.
A Wall Street Journal editorial found fault with "China's economic nationalism" for taking the US debt crisis to task.
Another Reuters article warily suggested that China's criticism may worsen the Sino-US relationship.
When did the US become so sensitive to criticism? The world has never been shy about blaming the US for the mess it created, yet Washington seemed rarely bothered.
The largest holder of US debt, China has every right to remonstrate with its debtor over wayward spending. An international supervision over greenback printing would be good since an addiction often needs restrictions forced upon it to stop.
China has been on the receiving end of rhetoric and finger-pointing from the US for a long time, and partly thanks to that, it has gradually learned to take outside criticism and transformed this pressure into an incentive for domestic change. Human rights accusations from the US, for example, have helped enhance human rights conditions in China.
Meanwhile, there is no shortage of blame within China for its foreign exchange policy's heavy reliance on the US dollar. Netizens are questioning the government over whether this was a smart investment. In an open society, citizens should be allowed to express their views.
The strong anti-China sentiment in US elections never seems to worry people about endangering the bilateral relationship.
There is no easy solution to China's huge US debt problem. Scholars have offered various suggestions, including linking the debt to US arms sales to Taiwan. China's economy is disproportionally dependent on exports. It is making progress concerning the internationalization of yuan. It is hoped the US debt crisis will serve as a major push to realize China's much-needed economic restructuring.
The US system has showed its flexibility in the past, by adapting its ability to recover from a crisis. But burying its head in the sand is not the right start this time.