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China has imposed tariffs of up to 25% on 128 US imports, including pork and wine, after US President Donald Trump raised duties on foreign steel and aluminium imports in March, the BBC reported.
The tariffs affecting some $3bn (£2.1bn) of imports kick in on Monday.
Beijing said the move was to “safeguard China’s interests and balance” losses caused by new US tariffs.
China had previously said it did not want a trade war but would not sit by if its economy was hurt.
Mr Trump, however, has insisted that “trade wars are good”, and that it should be “easy” for the US to win one.