China is strongly disappointed and firmly opposes the unilateral trade protectionist action introduced by the Trump administration against Chinese imports, said the Chinese Embassy in the United States on Thursday.
"China does not want a trade war with anyone. But China is not afraid of and will not recoil from a trade war," said the embassy in a statement.
"If a trade war were initiated by the United States, China would fight to the end to defend its own legitimate interests with all necessary measures," it added.
Earlier on Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a memorandum that could impose tariffs on up to 60 billion U.S. dollars worth of imports from China, the latest unilateral move that poses a threat to global trade.
"The actions undertaken by the United States are self-defeating," said the statement, warning that they will directly harm the interests of U.S. consumers, companies, and financial markets.
"They also jeopardize international trade order and world economic stability," it said.
According to estimates by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a U.S. technology policy think tank, a 25-percent tariff on Chinese information and communications technology (ICT) imports would cost the U.S. economy 332 billion dollars over the next 10 years.
"China has demonstrated sincerity in making reasonable suggestions to the United States, and has made great efforts to address the current trade imbalance between China and the United States," said the embassy.
"We urge the United States to cease and desist, make cautious decisions, and avoid placing China-U.S. trade relations in danger with the purpose of hurting others that eventually end up hurting itself," it added.
Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the United States, said on Thursday that the accusation of China's intellectual property violations is "groundless" and "a kind of discrimination."
"People in China and people in other developing countries are fully capable of innovation," said the ambassador.
China encourages innovation and has laws to protect intellectual property rights for both Chinese and foreign companies, said Cui.
"We will do our utmost to ensure intellectual property rights are protected whether they are from Chinese companies or American companies," he said.