China has urged India to join it to counter the growing threat of trade protectionism pushed by United States President Donald Trump, NDTV reported on Thursday. The move comes in the backdrop of the US government reworking trade arrangements with other countries to ensure bigger markets for its products.

“Under the current circumstances, China and India need to deepen their cooperation to fight trade protectionism,” said Ji Rong, the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India.

Both Asian countries are “in the vital stage of deepening reform and developing economy, and both need stable external environment”, said Ji. “Practising unilateral trade protectionism in the name of ‘national security’ and ‘fair trade’ will not only affect China’s economic development, but also undermine the external environment of India and hinder India’s booming economy.”

Ji asked the US to reflect on its own practice of interfering in the internal affairs of developing countries under the pretext of human rights and religious matters.

The US and China are engaged in a trade war, with both countries increasing tariffs on goods imported from the other. After the Trump administration announced new tariffs of 10% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, China hit back by imposing new trade tariffs on $60 billion worth of American goods.

India and the US also had discussions on trade matters. Last month, Trump claimed that India has a significantly high tariff rate on several US products and described the country as a “tariff king”. In June, the Indian government announced higher duties on several goods imported from the US in retaliation to Trump’s decision to impose hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.