It urged the US President to "pull back from the brink", adding: "China doesn't hope to be in a trade war, but is not afraid of engaging in one".
"A trade war serves the interests of none", Vice Premier Han Zheng said at the China Development Forum in Beijing.
China and the United States clashed on Friday at the United Nations, where the US delegation rejected a resolution brought by Beijing that it said sought to glorify Xi Jinping's "win-win" agenda and subordinated human rights to development or trade. In opening manufacturing further, China won't force foreign companies to transfer technology to domestic ones and will protect intellectual property, he said.
"Holding China accountable for refusing to follow global trading rules is important and necessary, but instead, the tariffs proposed by the administration will punish ordinary Americans for China's violations", NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement issued by the organization. US Trade Representative Lighthizer warned on Wednesday that Washington would take "counter measures" if Beijing targeted US agriculture.
"China has already prepared, and has the strength, to defend its national interests", Liu said on Saturday.
Firing off a warning shot, China on Friday declared plans to levy additional duties on up to $3 billion of United States imports in response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium, imposed after a separate USA probe.
"American business wants to see solutions to these problems, not just sanctions such as unilateral tariffs that may do more harm than good", said John Frisbie, president of the US-China Business Council. Smaller economies that supply the USA and China would be likely to bear much of the pain.
He said previous Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama failed in their initiatives with China, and so did Mr. Trump's early overtures towards China.
"The "feel good" language about mutually beneficial cooperation is meant to benefit autocratic states at the expense of people whose human rights and fundamental freedoms we are all obligated as states to respect", he said.
Indeed, U.S. officials say they have listened to Chinese pledges to open up its markets for too many years and are no longer interested in hearing empty promises.
Beijingreleased a list of United States goods it said might be hit by higher tariffs.
Possible items include aircraft and chips, Wei, a former vice commerce minister, told the newspaper, adding that tourism could be a possible target.
In a story March 23 about the appointment of John Bolton as USA national security adviser, The Associated Press erroneously reported that Bolton had commented in an interview with Fox Business News.
Amazon could find itself having to pay 1% or 2% more for products made in China to sell to its massive shopping audience, said Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer and head of technology research at GBH Insights.
Analysts said USA companies like Boeing Co, which sell billions of dollars worth of planes to Chinese airlines, as well as deals which require Chinese approval could also become caught in the cross fire should a trade war break out.