Beijing on Thursday rebuffed comments by White House chief strategist Steve Bannon that China and the US are in an “economic war”.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that a trade war does not serve the interests of either party, as fighting one will not produce a winner.

“We hope that the relevant persons can stop perceiving an issue of the 21st century with the zero-sum mentality of the 19th or 20th century,” she told a daily briefing in Beijing.

Her comment came a day after the American Prospect published an interview with Bannon.

In the interview, Bannon claimed that “we’re at economic war with China. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years, and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path.”

Bannon claimed that the so-called economic conflict with China is everything.

“And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, 10 years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover,” he was quoted as saying.

According to the article, Bannon’s line of attack includes: a complaint under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act against so-called Chinese forced technology transfers, and follow-up complaints against steel and aluminum dumping.

“We’re going to run the tables on these guys. We’ve come to the conclusion that they’re in an economic war, and they’re crushing us,” Bannon was quoted as saying.

Hua, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, noted that she saw the relevant report but has yet to verify its veracity. She reiterated China’s stance that the economic relations and trade between China and the US are mutually beneficial in essence.

“In fact, the long-term economic and trade cooperation between China and the US have brought tangible benefits to the

two peoples, which is an undeniable fact in the eyes of any unbiased person,” she said.

She said the importance of China-US relations is evident enough. “The Chinese and US…

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