Washington, Aug 17 (PTI) President Donald Trump’s close aide Steve Bannon has advocated a tougher stance toward China asserting that the US is at economic war with it, prompting Beijing to warn that “there is no winner in a trade war”.

“We’re at economic war with China,” Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon told The American Prospect.

Of late media reports have said that Bannon is pushing for a strong policy against China. Many within the Trump Administration differ with him.

“To me the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover,” Bannon said in response to a question.

The Chief White House Strategist said the United States would take a strong action against China. “We re going to run the tables on these guys. We ve come to the conclusion that they re in an economic war and they re crushing us, said Bannon who once headed the right-wing Breitbart News.

Commenting on his remarks, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying in Beijing warned that “there is no winner in a trade war” and appealed for dialogue.

“We hope the relevant people can refrain from dealing with a problem in the 21st century with a zero-sum mentality from the 19th or the 20th century,” she said.

In his interview over phone, Bannon argued that there was no military solution to North Korean provocative behaviour.

“There’s no military solution (to North Korea s nuclear threats), forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don t know what you re talking about, there s no military solution here, they got us,” Bannon said.

On Monday, Trump signed an executive order asking the US Trade Representative for examination of Chinese policies, practices, and actions with regard to the forced transfers of US technology and the theft of its intellectual property.

“The theft of intellectual property by foreign countries costs our nation millions of jobs and billions and billions of dollars each and every year. For too long, this wealth has been drained from our country while Washington has done nothing,” Trump said.

In the interview, Bannon said that he is getting hawks placed at key position. At the same time he acknowledged that he is getting opposition from various section.

“That’s a fight I fight every day here,” he said.

“We re still fighting. There s Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying,” he added. “We gotta do this. The president s default position is to do it, but the apparatus is going crazy. Don t get me wrong. It s like, every day,” Bannon said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.