October 11, 2018 / 7:44 AM / a month ago

China has no intention of interfering in U.S. politics: commerce ministry

FILE PHOTO: Flags of U.S. and China are placed for a meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture in Beijing, China, June 30, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo - RC1A80FC9700

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has no intention of interfering in U.S. politics and hopes Washington would stop finding excuses for its unilateralism and trade protectionism, the Chinese commerce ministry’s spokesman said on Thursday.

Last week, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence accused China of “malign” efforts to undermine President Donald Trump ahead of next month’s congressional elections. Pence also accused China of using its economic might to bully smaller countries.

China has not engaged in, and will not engage in, “economic invasion”, Gao Feng, the commerce ministry’s spokesman, said at a weekly briefing.

The United States and China have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s goods over the past few months in an escalating trade conflict that could knock global trade and investment.

China is open to restarting trade talks with the United States, but regrettably the U.S. side has shown no sincerity still, Gao said.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Michael Perry

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