China will take "counter-measures" after US President Donald Trump's raised tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports. Fears of escalation hit global stocks markets, which waver nervously awaiting a concrete response.
"In order to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and the global free trade order, China will have to take countermeasures," the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday following the US decision to slap new tariffs on Chinese goods.
The Trump administration announced tariffs on 5,000 Chinese-made goods at 10 percent from September 24, rising to 25 percent on January 1.
China's Commerce Ministry provided no details of Beijing's response, but China has previously released a $60 billion (€52 billion) list of US goods for retaliation.
"The US insists on increasing tariffs, which brings new uncertainty to the consultations between the two sides," the statement added.
Read more: US imposes new $200 billion tariffs on China
"It is hoped the US will recognize the possible negative consequences of such actions and ... correct them in a timely manner," the statement read.
The two governments had earlier this year imposed 25 percent duties on $50 billion of each other's goods. Beijing's penalties hit soybeans and other farm goods.
Trump said on Monday he would add a further $267 billion in Chinese imports to the target list if Beijing retaliates. That would raise the total affected by US penalties to $517 billion, almost 50 percent of all China sells to the US.
Fears of escalation
The American Chamber of Commerce in China warned on Tuesday that Washington was underestimating Beijing's determination to protect its interests. "The downward spiral that we have previously warned about now seems certain to materialize," said chamber chairman, William Zarit, in a statement.
Read more: Next stop in Trump's trade crusade: Japan
"Contrary to views in Washington, China can - and will - dig its heels in and we are not optimistic about the prospect for a resolution in the short term," said Zarit. "No one will emerge victorious from this counter-productive cycle."
The US tariffs against China are "economic madness" and will not be effective, Mats Harborn, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, said on Tuesday.
jbh (AP, dpa)