China on Friday called on U.S. decision makers to seriously weigh up the value of its unilateral trade protectionism.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang made the call at a daily press briefing, commenting on recent remarks made by U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad on possible Chinese retaliation on soybean imports from the United States.
Lu said it was not just people from the U.S. agricultural industry that were worried about the deterioration of trade ties caused by the unilateral moves of the U.S. administration.
China expected the U.S. side to heed the voice of U.S. consumers and business communities, he said.
"We have reiterated several times that China does not want a trade war," Lu said. "However, if China is forced into such a war, we have the confidence and capability to cope with any challenges."
Lu said that once a trade war was triggered, the defending party would decide the time, method and areas to counter it based on its own interests and requirements.