China: ‘The US has launched a trade war’

China accused the United States of firing the first shot on Friday when the White House confirmed that it would impose tariffs of 25% on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The world’s two biggest economies are now at war over trade.

China accused the United States of firing the first shot on Friday when the White House confirmed that it would impose tariffs of 25% on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.

“The United States has kept changing its mind and now launched a trade war,” China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement.

The Chinese government said it would respond in kind to the US tariffs, which will apply to roughly 1,100 exports and will target China’s aerospace, robotics, manufacturing and auto industries.

“China does not want a trade war,” it said, adding that it would “fight back vigorously” in defense of its national interests, globalization and the world trade system.

“We will immediately launch tariff measures that will match the scale and intensity of those launched by the United States.”

The Commerce Ministry statement gave no further details of the American products that would be hit. China has previously promised to respond with retaliatory tariffs on US products such as cars, planes and soybeans.

President Donald Trump has long complained about China’s huge trade surplus with the United States. In a statement Friday, he said trade with China “has been very unfair, for a very long time.”

Trump said the new new US tariffs, which will start to take effect on July 6, were designed to punish China for the theft of American intellectual property and technology.