As the Trump administration continues to put economic and political pressure on China, Beijing’s state media has warned that some of the damage done to relations between the two countries may now be "beyond repair".
Regardless of the stance president-elect Joe Biden takes from January, some of the impacts of four years of Donald Trump in the White House may never be healed and the US and China remain on a “dangerous path”, the newspaper China Daily said in an editorial.
"Even if the incoming administration has any intention of easing the tensions that have been sown, and continue being sown, some damage is simply beyond repair, as the sitting US president intends," it said.
The remarks from the Chinese Communist Party-run newspaper came following new visa restriction imposed by the US on party members and their families.
It also comes amid the backdrop of an exchange of insults on Thursday between a US senator and a senior Chinese journalist.
US Senator Marsha Blackburn and China Daily journalist Chen Weihua traded insults and indulged in name-calling in a heated twitter spat after the former accused China of having a “5,000-year history of cheating and stealing.”
On 2 December, the US Department of Homeland Security announced a ban on cotton imports from the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps — a leading cotton producer in China's Xinjiang region – citing use of forced labour of detained Uighur Muslims.
The editorial called such action by the US a "worrisome sign", saying bilateral ties were being shifted onto “a dangerous path”.
“The recent deterioration in bilateral ties has fundamentally changed the political atmosphere for the China policies of the US. So much so that containing China has become a bipartisan consensus,” the editorial read.
Meanwhile, Chinese ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai appeared to make a move aimed at dialling down the tensions as president-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office in January. He said the two countries’ differences could be managed with “respect” and “mutual understanding”.
“There are always differences between the two countries. None of them justifies confrontation and war, cold or hot,” Cui said on Twitter on Thursday.
“With sufficient mutual respect and mutual understanding, we are capable of managing these differences so that they would not derail the entire relationship.”
Mr Biden told the New York Times on Wednesday that he has no plans to remove existing tariffs set by the Trump administration against China in the near future.