China on Tuesday urged the United States to stop "unwarranted slandering and accusations" and to put an end to words and deeds that undermine Sino-U.S. relations.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang made the remarks at a daily news briefing when asked for further comment on the U.S. leader's recent allegations that China is "interfering in" the 2018 mid-term U.S. elections, just one day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to China.
"From the very beginning we have made it clear that China will not accept groundless accusations as such," Lu said. As a diplomatic tradition, China has been committed to the principle of non-interference, and takes no interest in interfering in the United States' internal affairs, he added.
"As put by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his meeting with Pompeo, China has a clear conscience about this," Lu said.
As for the claim from the U.S. side that China's ratcheting up of tariff levies was aimed at influencing its mid-term elections, Lu said that the move was forced to be made as a righteous defense needed to protect China against Sino-U.S. trade frictions, a result of U.S. unilateralism.
"There is no winner in fighting a trade war," Lu said, adding that as the United States increases tariffs on more exports from China, more American industries and localities will be inevitably impacted by China's retaliatory measures. "This has nothing to do at all with which political parties they back."
In response to the claim that Chinese media outlet intended on "meddling in" U.S. internal affairs by buying space in its local newspapers, Lu said that the move was normal business cooperation and doesn't violate U.S. laws and regulations.
Lu told the news briefing that it is utterly "groundless and farfetched" to interpret such cooperation as "attempts to meddle in U.S. elections," to the point that many members of various sectors in American society, including media, tend to regard such allegations as ridiculous or absurd.
"The international community is clear about which country interferes the most in other countries' internal affairs," Lu said.