(Bloomberg) -- China’s ambassador to the U.S. warned the Trump administration against adopting a confrontational approach to the world’s second-biggest economy.
“It’s certainly paranoid to fear that a China that follows its own path of development would be confrontational to the United States,” Cui Tiankai told a gathering of more than 700 people at the embassy on Tuesday, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency. “And it’s dangerous to advocate any strategy for confrontation.”
President Donald Trump in December called Russia and China “rival powers” in his first official national security strategy. He has repeatedly sought ways to close a trade gap in goods with China that surged 8.1 percent last year to a record $375 billion, according to Commerce Department data.
The administration last year began a probe into China’s aluminum and steel sales and its intellectual property practices. China responded by launching an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation against U.S. shipments of the grain sorghum, a substitute for corn.
“It would be wishful thinking to believe that some political or cultural genetic engineering could be done to change China’s DNA,” Cui was quoted as saying. “We’ll continue to have problems, but dialogues will lead us to solutions.”
Cui also referenced the Chinese Year of the Dog at the new year celebration.
“Dogs are seen as loyal, sincere, and trusting companions in both Chinese and the western cultures,” he said. “I believe such virtues are equally essential for relations between countries.”
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, White House National Security Council official Matthew Pottinger and Acting Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton reportedly attended the event.
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