China has said it will take “counter-measures” over US president Donald Trump’s decision to raise tariffs on 200 billion dollars (£152 billion) of Chinese imports.
The comments came as an American business group warned that a “downward spiral” in their trade battle appears certain.
Beijing’s commerce ministry gave no details of China’s response to US tariffs imposed in their fight over Chinese technology policy, although a list of 60 billion dollars’ worth (£45 billion) of American goods was released earlier.
The Trump administration announced the tariffs on some 5,000 Chinese-made goods will start at 10%, beginning on Monday. They rise to 25% on January 1.
The Chinese commerce ministry said: “We deeply regret this.
“China will adopt counter-measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and the global free trade order.”
The two governments previously imposed 25% duties on 50 billion dollars (£38 billion) of each other’s goods.
The US targeted Chinese goods it said benefited from improper industrial policies.
Beijing’s penalties hit soybeans and other farm goods from states that voted for Mr Trump in 2016.
If China retaliates, Mr Trump has threatened to add a further 267 billion dollars (£203 billion) in Chinese imports to the target list.
That would raise the total affected by US penalties to 517 billion dollars (£394 billion) – covering nearly everything China sells the United States.
The American Chamber of Commerce in China warned Washington is underestimating Beijing’s determination to fight back.
Chamber chairman William Zarit said: “The downward spiral that we have previously warned about now seems certain to materialise.
“Contrary to views in Washington, China can – and will – dig its heels in and we are not optimistic about the prospect for a resolution in the short term.
“No one will emerge victorious from this counter-productive cycle.”
The chamber appealed to both governments for “results-oriented negotiations”.