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A day after the Trump administration imposed tariff hikes on Chinese goods, Beijing has threatened import duties on US goods including pork, apples and steel pipes, accentuating fears of a global trade war. Beijing is sending a clear signal that it would like to bolster its reputation as a defender of free trade and to avoid antagonising the situation further.

"China came back with proposed tariffs, but it was not almost as large as United States, and that's given people a little bit of semblance of hope that maybe this is not going to turn into a full-fledged trade war and maybe that there's room for negotiation", said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth in NY.

The U.S. currency briefly rebounded to around ¥105.10 later, supported by Japanese importers' routine purchases, traders said.

Maintaining sound and steady China-US economic and trade relations will be conducive to upholding global economic stability and normal worldwide trade order, she said.

Reaction comes in response to Trump's decision of restrictions on Chinese imports.

"We urge the USA to cease and desist, make cautious decisions, and avoid placing China-U.S. trade relations in danger with the goal of hurting others that eventually end up hurting itself", the statement said. "And then we expect the U.S.to retaliate further". Last year, the United States imported $506 billion in goods from China. The move to apply tariffs on soybeans will impact the US manufacturers significantly.

The Loonie is up to 77.34 cents US.

Schwab analysts noted that China presented a "measured response" to the USA announcement, saying it would target 128 United States products, including ethanol, fresh fruit, pork, steel and wine.

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The spokeswoman also slammed statements from Trump's economic adviser, Peter Navarro, who accused China of benefiting from bilateral trade much more than Washington benefits from trading with China. While German bond yields recovered in European trading, they suffered their biggest two-week drop since November.

For example, when American tech companies want access to China's market, China forces them to enter joint ventures with its own companies, the USTR said. A central plank of his "America First" platform was tearing up "bad" trade deals and taking unilateral steps to boost USA exports.

"China has done a very, very good job since it entered the WTO in 2001 of carefully constructing its protectionist policies, and other unfair policies, in a way that allows them to skirt WTO disciplines", he said.

"It's remarkable how badly Xi Jinping has mishandled and damaged the U.S". Boeing is one. China is its biggest foreign customer.

"Maybe he wanted it this way, but Xi missed every opportunity to negotiate good-faith solutions to trade and investment disputes".

The Chinese government could also target United States technology companies that manufacture products in China, such as Apple, in the hope those firms would pressure Washington to back down, said Victor Shih, a professor of political economy at University of California, San Diego.

"Conflict is unavoidable", said Hui Shousheng, a researcher at the Tsinghua National Strategy Institute in Beijing. "There are many political factors behind this, such as the fight for [global] leadership and the conflict over ideologies".