CORRECTED-S&P's downgrade overestimated China's difficulties - China vice finmin

(Corrects vice finance minister’s name in 2nd paragraph to Shi Yaobin)

BEIJING, April 1 (Reuters) - Standard & Poor’s overestimated difficulties facing China’s economy when the ratings agency downgraded the country’s outlook, China’s vice finance minister said on Friday.

Shi Yaobin is the first senior Chinese official to respond after S&P cut its outlook for China to negative from stable on Thursday.

In early March, Moody’s Investors Service also downgraded the outlook for China.

Both S&P and Moody’s underestimated China’s ability to push forward reforms and to counter risks, Shi said in a strongly-worded statement carried on the ministry’s website.

He also dismissed worries about China’s ongoing reforms of state-owned enterprises reforms. (Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Richard Borsuk)