ANKARA

China on Monday said it will launch counter-attacks against the US if Beijing’s interests are damaged.

“Any words or actions by the US that hurt China’s interests will be met with firm counter-attacks,” Zhao Lijian, Foreign Ministry spokesman, told a news briefing in Beijing.

“China and the US will gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. China will resolutely defend its security and sovereignty and development interests. The US will never have its sway in containing China’s development,” said Zhao.

China also urges the US to immediately correct its mistakes and shed its Cold War and ideological prejudices, he added. 

On Friday, Donald Trump ordered his administration to halt Hong Kong’s preferential trade treatment under US law in retaliation for China’s decision to apply a national security law to the semi-autonomous territory.

China’s National People’s Congress formally passed the Hong Kong security legislation on Thursday. Activists fear it will be used by Beijing to quash dissent in the territory.

Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous region under China since 1997, last year witnessed months of protests against a move to legalize extradition to mainland China.

Zhao called the US move “a violation of international law,” saying such attempts will fail.

“The US interference in China’s national security legislation for Hong Kong has completely violated basic principles of international law and international relations and is bound to fail,” Zhao told the news conference, the Global Times daily reported.

The Beijing statement also came after the local Hong Kong government said the special region is “an inalienable part of China.”

The Hong Kong administration led by Carrie Lam expressed “deep regret” that the US government continues to “smear and demonize the legitimate rights” and duties of China towards Hong Kong.

Trump had said that Beijing, by passing the controversial law, “unilaterally imposed control over Hong Kong’s security.”

On China’s border conflict with India near the Ladakh area of Jammu and Kashmir, a disputed region, Zhao said: “The situation on the China-India border is generally stable and under control and the two sides are keeping diplomatic and military communication lines open.”

He added that the two sides can “properly handle any problem through negotiations.”

China and India are engaged in a raging border dispute in Ladakh, with both sides accusing each other of trespassing.

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