China calls US trade actions 'shocking', 'totally unacceptable'

Beijing : China on Wednesday expressed "shock" and solemn protest against the US' announcement of fresh tariffs, calling it "totally unacceptable".

The US on Tuesday listed $200 billion worth of additional products it intended to place tariffs on as soon as September. The move followed just days after the two countries imposed tit-for-tat tariffs of $34 billion on each other's goods.

Washington said that the new tariffs of 10 per cent were adopted in retaliation for Beijing's response to the first set of taxes imposed by the US administration.

In response, a spokesperson of China's Commerce Ministry said: "The US has unveiled the list of tariffs in an escalating manner. This is totally unacceptable, and we express our solemn protest against this."

"By doing this, the US is hurting China, hurting the whole world and hurting itself. The irrational act goes against the will of the people.

"China is shocked by what the US did. To defend the core interests of the nation and the fundamental interests of the people, the Chinese government will, as always, be forced to take necessary countermeasures.

"In the meantime, we appeal to the international community to jointly defend free trade rules and the multilateral trade regime and fight trade bullying," the spokesperson was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

China said it will "immediately lodge an additional complaint with the WTO over the unilateral acts of the US".

The US list named more than 6,000 items including food products, minerals and consumer goods such as handbags.
The public will have until the end of August to comment on the list before the new tariffs come into effect.

Asian stock markets fell sharply on Wednesday as investors shunned risk amid escalating trade tensions between the two economic giants.

In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 1.6 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite fell 2 per cent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index shed 1.2 per cent.