BEIJING: China on Friday rejected as "malicious slander" US Vice President Mike Pence's allegation that it was meddling in American elections even as it voiced its desire to reach "some compromise" with America to end their escalating trade war.
In a blistering speech at a think-tank, Pence on Thursday alleged that China has mounted an unprecedented effort to not only meddle the upcoming US polls, but also shape the public opinion of the country.
Pence claimed that China wants a "different American President" and is using more "proactive and coercive" methods to interfere in America's domestic policies and politics.
He accused the Chinese government of orchestrating an aggressive military, economic and political campaign to expand its influence inside the US and across the world.
Reacting to Pence's allegations, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in a statement on Friday said any "malicious slander" on China is futile.
"The relevant speech made unwarranted accusations against China's domestic and foreign policies and slandered China by claiming that China meddles in US internal affairs and elections.
This is nothing but speaking on hearsay evidence, confusing right and wrong and creating something out of thin air," Hua was quoted as saying by the official media.
"It is very ridiculous for the US side to stigmatise its normal exchanges and cooperation with China as China interfering in its internal affairs and elections," she said, adding that China always follows the principle of non-interference in others' internal affairs and has no interest in meddling in US internal affairs and elections.
Indirectly hitting out at the US, she said "the international community has already known fully well who infringes upon others' sovereignty, interferes in others' internal affairs and undermines others' interests," state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
"We urge the US side to correct its wrongdoing, stop groundlessly accusing and slandering China and harming China's interests and China-US ties, and take concrete actions to maintain the sound and steady development of China-US relations," Hua said.
Pence's sharply-worded remarks comes days before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to China next week for talks with top Chinese leaders.
Amid war of words China also expressed to strike a compromise to end the trade war.
Ahead of Pompeo's visit, Chinese Ambassador to Washington Cui Tiankai said China wants to end the trade war with the US, but that the US' position keeps changing "so we don't know exactly what the US would want as priorities".
"We are ready to make a deal.
We are ready to make some compromise, but it needs the goodwill from both sides," Cui said in an interview on Wednesday with National Public Radio.
"We want to solve it through negotiation and consultation between the two sides.
But in order for the negotiation, the consultation to succeed, we do need goodwill and good faith from both sides," Cui said.
"We offered to reduce the trade deficit of the US States, for instance.
And we also presented a very good proposal to the US side about the further reform and opening up in China, some of the so-called structural issues," he said.
"We are ready to work on the issues.
Then I think more than once we had some tentative agreement between the two working teams.
Then just overnight the tentative agreement was rejected and the demand from US changed.
So this is very confusing, and this is making things very difficult," he said.
Cui said that he thinks "there's been some attempt on the US side to force something like, the US will get 100 percent and China will get zero.
I don't think this is fair.
I don't think this is possible."
On the deepening conflict between the two countries on the disputed South China Sea, Cui said, "We have sovereignty over many of the islands in the South China Sea.
And this has been a longstanding position of China despite a change of government, you see, in 1949."
"At the end of the Second World War, the then-Chinese government with the help of American naval ships took back the islands from Japan's occupation," he said.
On October 1, the US has alleged that Chinese naval ship has conducted unsafe manoeuvres near its naval vessel when it entered waters near the islands claimed by China.
Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea.
Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Brunei, and Taiwan have counterclaims.
Referring to the news reports that the Trump administration considered banning Chinese students from studying at American universities, Cui said if it is true, "this is a very dangerous situation because so many Chinese students are studying here, and a growing number of American students are studying in China.
Such people-to-people contact would be the real foundation of friendship and the cooperation between the two great countries."
Relations between the world's two largest economies have plummeted in recent weeks over US President Donald Trump's demand that China should reduce over USD 335.4 billion trade deficit in the bilateral trade.
Both the countries so far slapped additional tariffs on a range of products amounting to billions of dollars.