China vowed to retaliate against Donald Trump, saying the US president’s decision to slap tariffs on more than half of all Chinese imports had undermined efforts to reach a negotiated settlement and would spark counter-measures.
“We have been stressing that talks need to happen on the basis of parity, equality and good faith,” a foreign ministry spokesperson said at a daily briefing. “What the US has done shows no sincerity and good faith at all.”
In a separate statement, China’s commerce ministry, which led the last round of trade talks with the US, said Beijing would adopt “other tariff escalation measures”.
The statement appeared to be a reference to Beijing’s initial response to Mr Trump in August, when the US president first threatened to tax Chinese exports to the US worth more than $250bn.
The US action also drew a sharp response from the EU. “This escalation is very unfortunate”, Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU’s trade commissioner, told reporters. “Trade wars are not good and they are not easy to win”.