China and the United States can compete but should not view each other with a Cold War mentality and should avoid falling into a zero-sum game trap, the Chinese government’s top diplomat said, amid deteriorating ties between the superpowers.

Beijing and Washington are locked in an increasingly bitter trade war and are increasingly at odds over other issues, such as U.S. support for self-ruled Taiwan which China claims, and U.S. sanctions on China’s military for buying Russian weapons.

At a meeting with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on Tuesday in New York on the sidelines of a United Nations meeting, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi said that the two countries would only lose if they confronted each other.

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