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Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi says must avoid a new Cold War

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi touch elbows in greeting at the end of a news conference at the Renaissance Villa Madama meeting venue in Rome, Italy, August 25, 2020, in this still image taken from video. REUTERS via REUTERS TV

ROME (Reuters) - The world must avoid a new Cold War, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi, the government’s top diplomat, said on Tuesday in apparent reference to escalating tensions between China and the United States.

Speaking on a visit to Italy, Wang said it was important for China and the European Union to strengthen their own ties and cooperate further in the fight against the coronavirus.

U.S. President Donald Trump has blamed China for the spread of the deadly disease. He is also looking to restrict the global development of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co [HWT.UL].

“China will never want a Cold War ... because a Cold War would be a step backwards,” Wang told reporters, speaking through an interpreter. “We will not let other countries do this for their own private interests, while damaging the interests of other countries.”

Reporting by Angelo Angelo; Writing by Crispian Balmer, editing by Gavin Jones