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China eyes free trade and fair play

China is concerned that the US Congress could undermine economic ties between the two countries, according to a senior Beijing envoy.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Zhou Wenzhong, China’s ambassador to US, depicted the Sino-US relationship as primarily economic.

“All relations between countries are relations of interest ... and I think what is in the interest of the US is free trade,” Mr Zhou said.

“People will eventually understand that free trade does this country a lot of good. Some people may not agree. But I think eventually people will come round.”

He was speaking before the most recent rise in tensions between Washington and Beijing – including the resignation of Stephen Spielberg, US film director, as artistic adviser for the Olympics, and US arrests of alleged Chinese spies.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman was on Thursday reported to have said: “So-called talk that China runs spying activities ... is totally fictitious and has ulterior motives.”

According to Reuters, Liu Jianchao added: “We demand the US side abandon its cold war thinking and

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