BEIJING-China has warned that U.S. President Donald Trump's vow to impose high tariffs on steel and aluminum would have a "huge impact" on the global trading order and said Beijing would work with other nations to protect its interests.
Mr Trump's announcement came as President Xi Jinping's top economic aide, Mr Liu He, met United States officials at the White House.
Trade tensions between the world's two largest economies have risen since Trump took office in 2017, and although China only accounts for a small fraction of USA steel imports, its massive industry expansion has helped produce a global glut of steel that has driven down prices.
However, there was no immediate response to Trump's announcement that he will increase duties on steel and aluminum imports.
"China doesn't want a trade war with the United States", Mr Zhang Yesui, spokesman for the National People's Congress, said yesterday, on the eve of the parliament's annual session.
A US move on tariffs risks provoking retaliation, particularly from Beijing.
Trump thumbed his nose Friday at the concerns over rising trade tensions and higher prices for USA consumers, tweeting that "trade wars are good, and easy to win". In January, he took his first foray into tariff measures by placing charges on imported washing machines and solar panels.
Asian stocks on Friday built on losses seen in the USA the previous day, with shares in Hong Kong, Japan, China, Australia and South Korea weaker.
The metal tariffs could end up doing most harm to USA allies like South Korea, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Brazil.
"The American action to put sanctions on other countries' reasonable steel and aluminium exports in the name of harming national security is groundless", China's foreign minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.
China steel and aluminum products are just a small percentage of total US imports.
President Donald Trump has taken a tough line in the Administration's second annual trade policy agenda, emphasising "aggressive" enforcement of USA trade laws and limiting the role of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Liu also met Thursday with White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. "I don't think we've ever seen this aggressive and protectionist a tone before in a trade agenda".
Last month, the 64-year-old Xi proposed that China abolish term limits for president, reversing a precedent established after the death of Chairman Mao Zedong in 1976. And Chinese officials want to preserve the overall ability of Chinese companies to continue investing in the United States. While China accounts for just a fraction of US imports of the metals, it's accused of flooding the global market and dragging down prices. It pledges to prevent Beijing from disrupting global trade.