China expressed strong condemnation after Washington Tuesday announced tariffs on a proposed list of Chinese goods worth 50 billion U.S. dollars and subject to additional tariffs of 25 percent.
The list involves industries in aerospace, information and communication technology, robotics and machinery, and targets around 1,300 Chinese products.
"The Chinese side strongly condemns and firmly opposes the unfounded Section 301 investigation and the proposed list of products and tariff increases based on the investigation," the Chinese Embassy in the United States said in a statement Tuesday, shortly after Washington unveiled the list.
The list was authorized by the U.S. Trade Representative's office, which in August 2017 initiated an investigation under the Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to probe alleged Chinese intellectual property and technology transfer practices.
China has repeatedly said that Section 301 investigation is a unilateral move that violates World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
"Such unilateralistic and protectionist action has gravely violated fundamental principles and values of the WTO. It serves neither China's interest, nor U.S. interest, even less, the interest of the global economy," the Chinese embassy said in its statement.
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to the WTO Zhang Xiangchen in a written statement said the U.S. unilateral measures against China have gravely undermined the foundation of the WTO and put the WTO in an unprecedented danger.
"The findings of the U.S. Section 301 investigation are a willful distortion of the facts and full of selective assertions and allegations, turning a blind eye to the actual progress that China has achieved in the market-oriented reforms, further opening-up and enhanced intellectual property protection," said Zhang.
Both Zhang and the Chinese embassy's statement noted that China will take the issue to the WTO as well as corresponding measures of equal scale against U.S. products in accordance with Chinese law.
China's Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said in an interview with China Global Television Network on Tuesday that "We will certainly fight back," and "the (Chinese) Ministry of Commerce will make the announcement very soon, and you will see."
"Our actions are taken in direct response to the emergency situation caused by the United States, and are necessary and just actions served to fight protectionism," Zhang reiterated.
He also called for the entire WTO membership to lock arms with China in fighting the blatant protectionist acts of the United States.
"We hope that the U.S. side, with sense and a long-term picture in mind, refrain from going further down the 'wrong path,'" the Chinese embassy's statement said.