US officials have "lost their minds and gone mad" dealing with Beijing, China's State Department said Friday in the recent verbal salvo between the two superpowers.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing have risen sharply this year, and some of China's most outspoken critics at the US Congress have been hit by sanctions this week, days after the US imposed visa bans and asset freezes on several Chinese officials.
Attorney General Bill Barr added fuel to the fire on Thursday when he accused Beijing of waging an “economic blitzkrieg” to replace Washington as the world's foremost power and to spread its political ideology around the world.
State Department spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Barr and other US officials criticized China for distracting from domestic problems.
"For self-interest and political benefit, these people do not hesitate to kidnap domestic public opinion … to the point where they have gone mad and gone mad," she said.
Hua added that China had no intention of challenging or replacing the United States, and hoped that Washington's China policy could "return to rationality."
"A sparrow can't understand a swan's ambition," she said.
"This is a serious misconception and misunderstanding of China's strategic intent."
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