In a statement posted on its website, the ministry said China will protect its interests, taking both quantitative and qualitative measures against the move.
The fresh threats of additional tariffs violate prior negotiations and consensus reached between the two countries, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said. A trade war will hurt companies and people in both countries, it added in the Chinese statement.
“This practice of extreme pressure and blackmail deviates from the consensus reached by both parties on many occasions and is disappointing for the international community,” the Commerce Ministry said.
“The United States has initiated a trade war that violates market laws and is not in accordance with current global development trends,” it said.
Beijing will respond by safeguarding the interests of China and its people — and defending free trade, the statement added.
No matter how the external environment changes globally, China will push firmly ahead with reform and opening up, the Chinese ministry said.
China’s Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, said the country does not want a trade war, but it’s not afraid to engage in one.
Trump has requested the United States Trade Representative to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent.
The duties would take effect “if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced,” Trump said.
That comes after the U.S. on Friday announced that it would impose a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion of Chinese products. Tariffs on an initial list of goods worth some $34 billion will kick in on July 6.
—Reuters and CNBC’s Nyshka Chandran contributed to this story.