State media accuses Trump administration of acting like a ‘bunch of hoodlums’ as tariffs on $34bn in Chinese goods go into effect

A long-threatened trade war between the US and China has got under way after the world’s two largest economies imposed tariffs on each other. The US implemented tariffs on $34bn in Chinese goods, to which Beijing responded with levies on a similar quantity of US imports.

Minutes after the US tariffs went into effect at 12.01am on Friday US time, a spokesperson for China’s ministry of commerce said, “China promised not to fire the first shot, but in order to safeguard the country’s core interests as well as that of the people, it is forced to fight back,” according to Xinhua. The ministry stopped short of saying China had implemented its retaliatory duties.

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