Talks between the United States and China on a deal to end their trade dispute ended on Friday without a breakthrough.
Trump has also now ordered Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to begin the process of raising tariffs on essentially all remaining imports from China, valued around $300 billion.
The Chinese Ministry of Finance said in a statement Monday it will be changing tariff rates on around $60 billion in U.S. products, with duties on some items now going up to 25%.
Despite the retaliation, Beijing appeared to give time to find a resolution by setting the June 1 date.
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Most observers have warned a trade war between the world's two largest economies could shatter global economic growth, and hurt demand for commodities like oil.
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The move followed accusations by US President Donald Trump that Beijing "broke the deal" by reneging on earlier commitments.
"China's adjustment on additional tariffs is a response to U.S. unilateralism and protectionism", the ministry said.
But the retaliation from Beijing was not unexpected, White House economist advisor Larry Kudlow said on Sunday the USA expected retaliation from China over the new tariffs.
"If China walks away from good faith negotiations, we could minimise collateral damage to U.S. consumers and economy by using targeted sanctions against specific companies using subsidies, dumping, or stolen IP".
Asked about the threat, Geng said, "We have said many times that adding tariffs won't resolve any problem".
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on Monday he believed Chinawould continue to buy US debt. "So, he carries that initial burden and therefore badly needs success on these initiatives of his".
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"Both sides will pay", Kudlow said when pressed on the issue. Beijing's top trade negotiator, Liu He, likewise said Friday the next round would start in the Chinese capital at an unspecified date.
"Our base case remains that a trade deal between the United States and China is likely". It's just a way to show them that we are capable of taking countermeasures to respond to their behaviour, and in turn to help them sober up and regain their rationality.
The president insisted increases on Chinese goods don't hurt American consumers, saying there is "no reason for the U.S. Consumer to pay the Tariffs". The move affected 5,700 categories of Chinese products including internet modems, routers and similar devices.
A few hours later, he asserted that China's sudden change in policy was mainly because it thought that leaders from the opposition Democratic party would be able to replace him in the White House after the 2020 presidential elections. "China should not retaliate, " he tweeted.
Chinese had collected duties of 5% to 25% on almost 2,500 goods before the latest hike.
The administration previous year handed farmers aid worth $11 billion to offset losses from trade conflicts.
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Major changes to Chinese law, enforced and monitored by another country is something China will never accept nor could it if it wanted to not only save face at home but overseas.