China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, demanded Saturday that America tighten its belt and confront its “addiction to debts” in the wake of Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade the U.S. credit rating.

China currently owns $1.2 trillion of U.S. Treasury debt, the largest stake of any central bank. The commentary carried by the state-run Xinhua News Agency was Beijing’s first official response to the S&P decision.

“The U.S. government has to come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone,” Xinhua said.

It said the rating cut would be followed by more “devastating credit rating cuts” and global financial turbulence if the U.S. fails to learn to “live within its means.”

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