China on Wednesday said tit-for-tat tariffs will "destroy" trade between the world's top two economies, after Washington fired the next shot in a ballooning trade war, readying fresh levies on $200 billion in Chinese goods.
"The outburst of large-scale mutual levying of tariffs between China and the United States will inevitably destroy Sino-US trade," assistant minister of commerce Li Chenggang told a forum in Beijing.
US policy "actually interferes with the process of economic globalisation" and "damages the world economic order," charged Li.
On Friday, the US imposed 25-percent tariffs on around $34 billion in Chinese goods, sparking an immediate dollar-for-dollar retaliation from Beijing.
Washington on Tuesday announced it was starting the process to slap 10-percent tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese export goods as soon as September.
Analysts have warned that a spiralling trade war between the world's two financial powerhouses could have a damaging impact on the global economy.
"It is a chaotic time in international trade," said Li.
He added: "Companies in both countries will suffer losses. There is no winner in a trade war. Cooperation is the only correct choice between China and the United States."
"It seems that the US is escalating the scale of this trade friction," said Li, adding: "The negative impact of the trade friction has already appeared."