Hours after US President Donald Trump on Thursday imposed a massive USD 60 billion trade tariffs on China, Beijing urged the United States to cease and desist from endangering trade relations between the two countries.
In a statement by the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C., China "forcefully denounced" President Trump''s decision of imposing trade tariffs on Chinese goods and accused of putting the two countries on the brink for a trade war, according to media reports.
"If a trade war were initiated by the US, China would fight to the end to defend its own legitimate interests with all necessary measures," the embassy said.
"We urge the US to cease and desist," it added, warning that by endangering China-US trade relations Washington D.C. will "eventually end up hurting itself."
Beijing also affirmed "it did not want a trade war, but would not recoil from one," as reiterated by the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 23,959.51, down 2.9 percent, near its lowest point in a rocky session, in the account of the massive trade tariffs announced by President Trump.
The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 2.5 percent to 2,643.70, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 2.4 percent to 7,166.68.
Terming Beijing as its efforts to steal ''intellectual property'' from American companies, President Trump signed a memorandum directing the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) and the US Treasury Department to launch a ''broad range of actions'' against China.
During an event at the White House, President Trump said that imposing tariffs on China is "going to make the US a much stronger and a much richer nation."
The US President called China as a "friend" but demanded that Beijing should adopt more favourable trade practices with Washington D.C.
He also alleged that China had been indulging in tremendous intellectual property theft worth hundreds of billions of dollars on a yearly basis.
President Trump will soon consult US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider whether the actions by China should result in increased tariffs on their imports. The USTR is expected to publish a proposed list of products and recommended tariff increases for public comment within the next 15 days, according to The Hill.
He has also asked the USTR to pursue dispute settlement through the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to address China''s ''discriminatory licensing practices''. (ANI)