The Chinese government said that it was “forced to counterattack” against US punitive tariffs on its imports, which went into effect early on Friday.
A statement from the Chinese Commerce Ministry denounced US actions as “a violation of world trade rules” and warned that the current dispute between both countries was launching the “biggest trade war in history.”
Speaking hours after the tit-for-tat duties went into effect, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said no one would emerge a winner from a trade war.
“Trade war is never a solution,” Li said at a news briefing with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov in Sofia.
“China would never start a trade war but if any party resorts to an increase of tariffs then China will take measures in response to protect development interests.”
US President Donald Trump began the trade dispute when he imposed 25 percent duties on approximately $34 billion (€29 billion) in Chinese machinery, electronics and high-tech equipment including autos, computer hard drives and LEDs.