China Vows to Fight U.S. on Trade with ‘All Necessary Measures’

President Xi Jinping is now China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong

China’s government is fighting back against President Trump’s new tariffs with strongly worded statements.

“China absolutely won’t sit back and allow its legitimate rights and interests to be harmed and will take all necessary measures to protect” its business interests, China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement.

The Trump administration announced Wednesday tens of billions of tariffs on Chinese exports, investment restrictions on Chinese companies, and a new lawsuit before the World Trade Organization, accusing China of violating international trade rules. White House officials said the sanctions were meant to prevent China’s plans for “economic dominance” and described China’s trade policies as “economic aggression.”

A spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry said such remarks are “irresponsible.”

U.S. officials say they are not worried about China retaliating with trade sanctions of its own.

“As a practical matter, China benefits far more from U.S. China,” a senior White House official said. “Ultimately, this will be healthy for the global trade system.”

According to reports, China is considering leveling trade sanctions at the U.S. agricultural sector, hoping to damage Trump’s rural supporters. The U.S. has vowed to defend its farmers and ranchers against any retaliation.

“The United States stands ready to defend our producers that may be harmed by foreign country retaliation, in particular farmers and ranchers who are often the first to be targeted by trade actions,” a USDA representative told CNBC.