WASHINGTON, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said that stable and strengthened relations between China and the United States have contributed positively to the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.

"Forty years of diplomatic ties and cooperation have served the interests of both countries quite well," Cui said at an event held by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University this week.

"In addition to all the bilateral benefits we have gained from this relationship, we have also seen its positive impact on the broader region of the Asia-Pacific and the world," Cui added.

According to Cui, China and the United States share common interests and responsibilities in maintaining global peace and stability, promoting global economic growth and prosperity. "This is our responsibility to the international community," said Cui.

With tremendous opportunities and challenges ahead, "the prospects (of China-U.S. relations) will very much depend on the choices we make today," said Cui.

He urged the United States to abandon the Cold War, zero-sum mentality which could undermine bilateral relations.

"If we have a more positive and cooperative mindset, we could see clearly the emerging trends in the world, seize new opportunities, and turn challenges into opportunities," said Cui.

"That will bring about real benefits for the people of our two countries," he noted.

In regard to recent escalating trade tensions between China and the United States, Cui warned that a trade war serves no meaningful purpose and will only destroy trade itself.

A trade war would not only harm both economies, but also poison the atmosphere of the overall China-U.S. relations, undermine mutual confidence, and hurt global growth, said Cui.

"We are against any trade war. We believe any dispute should be worked out through dialogue and consultation," said the ambassador.

However, if the United States insists on initiating a trade war, China will retaliate, said Cui.

Trade tensions between China and the United States have been escalating in recent months, as Washington threatened to slap additional duties on Chinese goods worth 100 billion dollars, after proposing steep tariffs on Chinese imports worth 50 billion U.S. dollars.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also warned this week that the prospect of trade restrictions threatens to undermine confidence and derail growth prematurely.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Thursday urged policymakers to steer clear of all protectionist measures amid rising trade tensions between the United States and its major trading partners.