China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Tuesday morning (local time) voiced "grave concern" over US President Donald Trump's move to initiate an investigation into allegations that China has been "practicing intellectual infringement."
The MOC stated that China will not sit on its hands "if the US's action inflicts damages on the bilateral trading relationships".
Trump on Monday local time signed a presidential memorandum authorizing a probe into the IP allegation that involves China, clouding the business ties between the world's two largest economies.
"This is what I promised to do as a candidate for this office and this is what I am doing right now as president," Trump said, signing a presidential memorandum which authorized the investigation into "unfair trade practices".
The move was aimed at protecting "American workers, innovations, creations and inventions", Trump added.
The inking of the memorandum is believed to have been set aside for a week until new UN sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea over its recent missile tests, on which Washington has called for Beijing's support.
China has urged the United States to objectively evaluate China's progress in protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) and resolve the differences with China through dialogue and consultation.
"With the increasingly interwoven interests between China and the United States, a trade war will lead nowhere and neither side will win," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Monday at a regular news briefing.
China has always attached importance to protecting IPR by formulating laws and regulations, cracking down on violations and raising public awareness of IPR, Hua said.