China will not surrender to US import tariffs pressure and is determined to protect free trade, the Commerce Ministry spokesman stated.
"This kind of psychological terrorism in trade… runs counter to modern trends," Gao Feng said, adding Beijing "would not bow to threats and blackmail."
He said other US trade partners were threatened with tariff hikes. He said China would work together with the international community to counter US’s "obsolete, outdated and inefficient" protectionist practices.
According to Reuters, China's Customs Agency warned in a separate statement that Chinese tariffs on US goods would take effect immediately after US Tariffs on Chinese goods kick in.
"Per decision of the State Council’s Customs Tariff Commission, tariffs on certain US imports will be raised immediately after US duties come into force," the agency said.
On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry called on Washington to stop putting pressure on Chinese companies and put more effort into building mutual trust.
However, earlier in June, the US president threatened to impose additional tariffs on Chinese goods, citing Beijing's "irrational behavior." China has called Trump's latest threats "an act of extreme pressure and blackmail."
The situation in global trade has considerably escalated after US President Donald Trump introduced a 25-percent tariff on steel imports and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum imports in March. The tensions have further sharpened when he extended these duties to the European Union, Canada, and Mexico, which were temporarily exempted from the measures.