Former Wells Fargo chief Dick Kovacevich said Tuesday that China's economy has slowed because the rest of the world has decelerated, not because it's the world's growth engine.
"Until they have their domestic economy more dominant, they're simply reacting to the worldwide economy," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box," referring to the country's effort to transition to a consumer-led economy rather than one fueled by exports and investment.
"Everyone says China is slowing. No, the world's economy is slowing."
In contrast, the U.S. economy is doing well because the country is not overly dependent on exports and can grow in the absence of a worldwide economic boom, Kovacevich said.
"China can't, or can't to the same degree by a huge factor, until they get their domestic economy going."
China sent shock waves through global markets last month when it unexpectedly devalued its currency. Some market watchers feared the move, which supports China's exports, was a sign that the country's economy was slowing more than previously thought.
Robert Hormats, Kissinger Associates vice chairman, said it was too soon to know whether China's deceleration has bottomed.
"I think it will be hard to tell because it is not as transparent as some other countries," he told "Squawk Box."
However, he said President Xi Jinping was doing the right things and his team is committed to allowing market forces to play a greater role in the Chinese economy.
Xi arrives in Seattle on Tuesday, where he will give a speech and meet with business leaders. He then travels to Washington, D.C., and meets with President Barack Obama.