China and the United States must avoid slipping into a Cold War-style standoff, a top Chinese diplomat said Wednesday.
The two countries will both lose out if they confront each other, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi said.
"China and the United States can have competition, but should not use a Cold War mentality to view each other, and nor should they slip into the trap of a zero-sum game," Wang stated, according to Reuters.
Wang accused "certain U.S. forces domestically" of "blackening" China's name, which he warned has caused "serious harm to the atmosphere of Sino-U.S. ties."
If this continues, both countries will suffer, Wang warned.
Wang's comments were made on the sidelines of a United Nations meeting in New York, amid rising tension between the world's two largest economic powers.
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump's administration hit Beijing with new sanctions, after accusing the Chinese military of purchasing Russian fighter jets and surface-to-air missile equipment. The U.S. Department of State said it issued the sanctions under the 2017 Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
CAATSA includes sanctions on Russia in response to Moscow's 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
"We will continue to vigorously implement CAATSA and urge all countries to curtail relationships with Russia's defense and intelligence sectors, both of which are linked to malign activities worldwide," State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert was quoted as stating by Fox News.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang condemned the measure as "unreasonable."
"We strongly urge the U.S. to immediately correct its mistakes and revoke the so-called sanctions. Otherwise, it must take all the consequences," Geng said.Geng didn't give further details, though since then Beijing has hit back by denying a U.S. warship access to the port of Hong Kong.
As Inquisitr has previously reported, the USS Wasp was expected to arrive in port in October, though a U.S. consular spokesperson in Hong Kong said the Chinese government "did not approve" the docking request. However, the spokesperson for the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong expressed optimism for future visits.
"We have a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect that to continue," the spokesperson said.
The tit for tat comes as both countries have threatened to double down on trade tariffs. The Trump administration has slapped Chinese imports with around $250 billion in tariffs, which went into effect Monday. While Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has assured American consumers they won't notice price increases on Chinese imports, finance experts like Chris Hogan disagree.
"This has the potential to impact a lot of areas that people need day to day to survive or to run their business," Hogan told CNBC.