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China vows to fight back as the trade war escalates

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US stocks fell on Wednesday, breaking a four-session streak of gains after Washington's threat to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods fanned trade war fears, while a sharp drop in oil prices hit energy shares. Beijing has not yet responded because it doesn't import enough from the U.S. to match the $US200b figure. China imported United States goods worth $130 billion a year ago and Friday's tariff hike hit $34 billion of that, with another $16 billion cited for a possible increase. Also on the list were farm products, seafood, building supplies and certain types of electronics.

On Wednesday, the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down about 1%, while the main indexes in Hong Kong and Shanghai recovered somewhat after falling more than 2%.

'It is totally unacceptable for American side to publish a tariff list in a way that is accelerating and escalating, ' it said.

"China stands in line with the worldwide community on the correct side of history to together protect the rules of the multilateral trade order", foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua said on Wednesday.

Asked what Beijing would do, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying gave no details but said, "We will take firm and forceful measures". China has repeatedly denied accusations by the Trump administration of unfair trade policies.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch called it "reckless", adding that the tariffs were "not a targeted approach".

China retaliated in lockstep against the initial $34 billion - a move that directly led to Trump's latest threat - and has pledged to do the same with the looming $16 billion.

Based on recent data, Jones said US-owned subsidiaries in China generated sales of around $US350 billion, "which is similar in scale to the United States trade deficit in goods with China". "There is no justification for such action", he said in a statement.

But U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the 10 percent duties, which also cover many consumer products that may also contain unlisted plastics components, are needed to put more pressure on China. A final decision will come sometime after that.

The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it had has begun the process of implementing fresh tariffs on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods. On Friday, China accused Trump of trade bullying and setting off a chain of possible adverse effects for USA consumers, as well as those overseas.

'Given China's likelihood of retaliation, it's also billions worth of new tariffs on American exporters'.

About 6.0 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges.

The FTSE 100 finished 100.08 points or 1.3 percent lower and Germany's Dax fell 1.53 percent. The onshore yuan opened at 6.6694 per dollar and was at 6.6674 at the official domestic close, down 0.4 percent for the day. -China trade dispute escalates, Beijing cut its forecast for soybean imports and the Chinese currency fell as worries about fallout from the simmering conflict grew. Copper was down 3 per cent at $6,141.50. Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange lost 1.41% to $US2060.50 a ton.

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"US doesn't have and won't have a better ally than EU", European Council president Donald Tusk retorted in a message sent on Twitter. "But China's reaction to the United States tariffs could pose a far greater threat to the index in time". "I hope you have no doubt this is an investment in our security, which can not be said with confidence about Russian and Chinese spending".

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