The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Thursday said that China's additional complaint filed to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over U.S. plans to put tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars of Chinese products was "necessary to defend the basic principles of the WTO."
The country's previous complaint came after the United States slapped levies on Chinese goods worth 34 billion U.S. dollars.
The MOC spokesperson Gao Feng said the U.S. move violated the WTO principle about most-favored-nation treatment and binding tariff obligations, at a press conference.
"Whether we need the multilateral trading system or not. It is a matter of principle," he said.
"We still firmly believe the trade rules and the multilateral trade system jointly developed by global trading partners should and must be observed and maintained."
Gao said the system was being rampantly disrupted by a few members.
"China will inevitably have to take necessary countermeasures as the United States escalated the trade war," Gao said.
Gao refuted the remarks of some U.S. officials that China should be blamed for the breakdown in negotiations between the two sides.
"The United States is holding a tariff bar and practicing trade-bullying worldwide, while advertising its grievances and innocence, and shifting the blame onto others in the meantime," Gao said.
"China, with the greatest sincerity, has been committed to addressing problems and achieving win-win cooperation at four rounds of consultations with the United States since February."
He said it was regrettable that the United States had twice abandoned the consensus reached, in May and in June.
"The United States publicly ignited a trade war on July 6 and escalated it on July 11," Gao said.
"We deeply regret this. Unilateralism and trade bullying are unacceptable," Gao said. "Throughout the whole process, it is U.S. that is promise-breaking and making erratic moves that are shutting down the door to negotiations."