China warns it could retaliate with tariffs on $60B

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China has appealed to Washington to stay level-headed and "correct its attitude" following a US threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods in a dispute over technology policy.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang (pic) attributed the arrest of Swedish bookseller Gui Minhai to the "violation of Chinese laws", without further explanation. The U.S.is open to renewing formal negotiations with China, though Beijing must agree to open its markets to more competition and stop retaliating against U.S. trade measures, according to two senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity.

Washington already applied last July 6 tariffs of 25 percent on Chinese products valued in 34 billion dollars per year, under the argument of facing alleged disloyal practices of the Asian country related to the acquisition of intellectual and technological USA property.

Increasing the pressure on China by threatening even higher tariffs could backfire.

"Markets are now wary of the next step in the trade war between the United States and China", Nick Twidale, chief operating officer at Rakuten Securities Australia, said in a note.

Trump's threats of higher tariffs weighed on China's financial markets.

China says the United States is trying to stop the rise of a competitor and it has imposed its own tariffs on USA goods.

USA trade representative Robert Lighthizer had said on Wednesday that he had secured the green signal from Trump to consider raising the tariffs from the earlier planned 10% to 25% under an ongoing Section 301 targeting Chinese goods on grounds of alleged theft and forced transfer of technologies from USA companies. A few days later, the Trump government imposed more tariffs on Chinese imports, spurring the government of Xi Jinping to implement similar countermeasures.

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"We hope that those directly involved in the United States' trade policies can calm down, carefully listen to the voices of USA consumers...and hear the collective call of the worldwide community", Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, Reuters reports.

The US is also simultaneously stepping up the heat against China on a separate front by forming a coalition of the US, the European Union, Japan, and several other countries of the global north at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Factory growth stuttered across the world in July, heightening concerns about the global economic outlook as an intensifying trade conflict between the United States and China sent shudders through trading partners.

The drop in the PMI, a key indicator of manufacturing health in the world's second-largest economy, came as Trump's administration proposed a 25 percent tariff on another $200 billion in Chinese goods, up from an earlier 10 percent plan.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative's Office declined to comment on the proposed tariff rate increase or on whether changing them would alter the deadlines laid out for comment period before implementation. "China's position is very firm and clear and has not changed".

Increasing the rates to 25 percent could make them significantly more painful.

The list included products as varied as snow blowers and 3-D printers, suggesting Chinese authorities were struggling to find enough imports their own economy can do without. The rising tensions between the two nations have weighed on stock and currency markets, with the Chinese yuan falling against the dollar.

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