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WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN US AND CHINA BREAKES OUT.

WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN US AND CHINA BREAKES OUT.

Highlights

China denounces 'ridiculous' US claims of election meddling.

China angrily denounced on Friday renewed US allegations that it was interfering in upcoming American midterm elections.

In a wide-ranging speech delivered on Thursday night, US Vice President Mike Pence said Beijing was meddling in the vote to counter tough trade policies against China. The comments echoed those by President Donald Trump recently.

Pence said Beijing's actions add up to a simple message: "China wants a different American president."

China hit back furiously on Friday, branding Pence's accusation "ridiculous".

Hua Chunying, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, said Beijing objected to Pence's "groundless" allegations and urged the United States to stop hurting ties between the two superpowers.

INSIDE STORY: Can the US and China resolve their differences? (25:01)

"This is nothing but speaking on hearsay evidence, confusing right and wrong and creating something out of thin air," Hua said in a strongly worded statement.

She said China was a "builder of world peace" with no interest in meddling in US elections.

"It is very ridiculous for the US side to stigmatise its normal exchanges and cooperation with China as China interfering in its internal affairs and elections," Hua said.

"The international community has already known fully well who wantonly infringes upon others' sovereignty, interferes in others' internal affairs and undermines others' interests."

Relations between the world's two largest economies have plummeted in recent weeks with Trump placing $250bn in tariffs on Chinese goods, in part over charges that Beijing forces US companies to hand over technological know-how. China responded with $60bn in tariffs on American produts.

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Highlights

China denounces 'ridiculous' US claims of election meddling.