China’s finance ministry on Friday hit back at the decision by S&P Global to downgrade the country’s sovereign credit rating, calling it a “wrong decision”. The ratings agency was “neglecting China’s sound economic fundamentals and development potential”, the ministry said in a statement on its website, calling the decision “perplexing”. “S&P’s focus on credit and debt growth is largely old talk,” the statement said. “It’s a pity that international rating agencies have been misreading the Chinese economy with their old mindsets and experiences gained from developed economies.” S&P on Thursday downgraded China’s sovereign rating for the first time since 1999, to A+ from AA-, citing increased economic and financial risks after “a prolonged period of credit growth”. S&P pours cold water on Beijing’s upbeat economic narrative The downgrade was the second by an international rating agency this year, after Moody’s in May cut China’s rating for the first time since 1989. “S&P’s downgrading of China’s sovereign credit rating is a wrong decision,” the ministry said. It responded in a similar way to Moody’s decision in May. The ministry added that China was able to ensure stability in its financial system. The prevention of risk and creation of stability in financial markets are key tasks outlined in the National Financial Work Conference in July.