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China to respond to new US tariffs (Second Lead)

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Beijing, May 10 (IANS) China on Friday said it would respond in kind after the US has more than doubled the taxes on Chinese imports worth $200 billion from 10 per cent to 25 per cent, a move that worsens the damaging trade war between the two countries.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry said that Beijing will have to take necessary countermeasures in response to the latest tariff hike.

"The US has raised the tariff on the $200 billion of China’s exports to the US from 10 per cent to 25 per cent," the Ministry said in a statement.

"China deeply regrets that it will have to take necessary countermeasures. The 11th round of China-US high-level economic and trade consultations is underway.

"It is hoped that the US and the Chinese side will work together and work together to resolve existing problems through cooperation and consultation," the statement added.

A high-level Chinese delegation led by its top trade envoy and the country’s Vice Premier Liu He is in Washington to hammer out a deal with their US counterparts to put an end to the trade war.

The two-day talks will end on Friday.

Meanwhile, a Xinhua report said that Chinese stock markets were little changed after the tariffs came into force, with the Hang Seng index trading up 0.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite 1.5 per cent higher.

The world’s two largest economies had agreed to a 90-day truce in December last year after slapping tariffs on each other’s goods.

US President Donald Trump temporarily extended the deadline late February citing "positive progress" in talks with Beijing. This meant that the US would not hike new tariffs on Chinese imports. A

On Sunday however, Trump caught the Chinese off guard by announcing to hike levies which would go into force from Friday.

Beijing and Washington have been locked in a bruising trade war since July last year after Trump slapped an additional 25 per cent on an initial $50 billion of Chinese goods.

Trump followed it through with another 10 per cent on an additional $200 billion in products in September.

Chinese hit out at the US by raising levies on American products worth 150 billion.

It is the levies imposed in September last year by Trump which that been has been increased to 25 per cent from Friday.

This may scuttle the progress both sides have claimed to make in preventing the spat to worsen, a scenario that could impede the world’s economic recovery.