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China commerce ministry condemns US tariffs, will take countermeasures

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China's commerce ministry said on Wednesday it "strongly condemns and firmly opposes" the proposed US tariffs following the Section 301 probe and will take counter measures, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

[BEIJING] China's commerce ministry said on Wednesday it "strongly condemns and firmly opposes" the proposed US tariffs following the Section 301 probe and will take counter measures, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The response follows a move by the Trump administration on Tuesday to slap 25 per cent tariffs on some 1,300 industrial technology, transport and medical products to try to force changes in Beijing's intellectual property practices.

The Ministry of Commerce (MofCom) said it "will soon take measure of equal intensity and scale against US goods".

"We have the confidence and ability to respond to any protectionist measures by the United States," said MofCom.

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The US Trade Representative's (USTR) office target list is broad and includes products from military shotguns to sewing machines.

The USTR list follows China's imposition of tariffs on US$3 billion worth of US fruit, nuts and pork to protest new US steel and aluminum tariffs imposed last month by US President Donald Trump.

"The findings of the US Section 301 investigation are a willful distortion of facts and full of selective assertions and allegations," said Zhang Xiangchen, Beijing's ambassador to the World Trade Organization.

The investigation was made on Chinese imports under Section 301 of the 1974 US Trade Act.

"What Washington truly wishes is not a trade war, but to intimidate China by wielding the baton," said an editorial in the Global Times paper.

"The latest US measures against China carry a sense of containment, which purportedly is commonplace among US politicians," it added.

The widely-read state run Global Times is run by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, although its stance does not necessarily equate with Chinese government policy.

REUTERS