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China to USA: 'Stop deliberately distorting' our global strategy

  • Beijing says U.S. should stop "distorting China's strategic intentions" and abandon its "Cold War mentality"
  • China was labeled a competitor of the U.S. in the first national security strategy document based on President Donald Trump's "America First" vision
  • China is urging cooperation between the world's two largest economies

China hit back at the U.S. after it branded the East Asian giant a competitor, accusing it of distorting the country's intentions and adopting a "Cold War" mentality.

Urging cooperation between the world's two largest economies, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a scheduled press conference Tuesday afternoon that the U.S. and China should "shoulder important responsibilities and have extensive common interests in upholding world peace and stability and promoting global development and prosperity."

Hua was responding to questions about President Donald Trump's first national security strategy document, in which the U.S. labeled China and Russia as competitors who are challenging its power and influence, and "attempting to erode American security and prosperity."

The document reflected Trump's "America First" vision.

The rapid rise of Communist China as a global economic power has injected uncertainty into the post-war world order, although Beijing has repeatedly pledged to maintain peace on the international stage.

President Xi Jinping said at the opening of the 19th Communist Party Congress in October that although China's influence is growing, it will not be a threat to any country. China, he said, will not seek hegemony.

While there are suspicions about the Communist Party's political interference in countries where there is significant Chinese foreign direct investment, Beijing has repeatedly rejected such claims.

On Tuesday, the Chinese foreign ministry's Hua once again cited misinterpretation of the country's intentions.

"We urge the U.S. side to stop deliberately distorting China's strategic intentions, and abandon such outdated concepts as the Cold War mentality and the zero-sum game, otherwise it will only end up harming itself as well as others," said Hua.

China instead is urging collaboration.

"Cooperation is the only right choice for China and the United States and win-win cooperation can lead to a better future," Hua said.

"As two major countries, it is not surprising for China and the United States to have some disagreements. It is advisable for our two countries to properly handle them in a constructive way on the basis of respecting each other's core interests and major concerns," she added.

The Chinese embassy in the U.S. also issued a response on its website on Tuesday, saying cooperation between the world's two largest economies will lead to a win-win outcome for both sides, but confrontation will result in mutual losses.

The Chinese press also criticized Trump's new strategy paper as being based on "the old way of thinking that competition rather than cooperation defines the current global environment," said the powerful Communist Party-owned People's Daily in an op-ed.

On Chinese social media, most participants were supportive of the official line to keep peace, although many were also quick to point out that the U.S. label of China as a strategic competitor is an acknowledgement of the Asian country's rising clout.

"It seems as if China is the only country that can rival the U.S.," wrote Arthur-s on the Weibo microblog.