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China says will 'fight back firmly' if US publishes additional tariffs list

US and Chinese flags in Washington Photo: Associated Press

China will take "qualitative" and "quantitative" measures if the United States government publishes an additional list of tariffs on Chinese goods, the commerce ministry said on Tuesday (Jun 19), accusing the US of initiating trade war.

The ministry said in a statement on its website that China would take comprehensive measures to "fight back firmly".

"Such a practice of extreme pressure and blackmailing deviates from the consensus reached by both sides on multiple occasions, and is a disappointment for the international community.

"The United States has initiated a trade war and violated market regulations, and is harming the interests of not just the people of China and the US, but of the world," the ministry said.

If the United States publishes a new list of tariffs, Beijing will take strong countermeasures to safeguard the interests of China and its people, the ministry added.

US President Donald Trump threatened on Monday to impose a 10 per cent tariff on US$200 billion of Chinese goods, escalating a tit-for-tat trade war with Beijing.

He said the move was in retaliation for China's decision to raise tariffs on US$50 billion in US goods. 

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