Trade tensions between the world's two largest economies have risen since Trump took office in 2017, and although China only accounts for a small fraction of US steel imports, its industrial expansion has helped produce a global glut of steel that has driven down prices.
"The US is acting swiftly on Intellectual Property theft".
However, Wang also made sure to save some of the credit for China.
"We're going to be doing a reciprocal tax program at some point", Referring to China, Mr. Trump said, "It's a mirror tax".
"We are cheering them on", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters on Thursday.
"China will certainly make an appropriate and necessary response", Wang said at a news conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress in Beijing. "In a globalized world it's particularly unhelpful as it'll harm the initiator as well as the target", he added.
"China urges the United States to show restraint in using protective trade measures, respect multilateral trade rules, and make a positive contribution to worldwide trade order".
However, while urging China to improve its debt practices, the report also listed more than 80 instances of ad-hoc debt relief actions by China since 2000 and said that the Belt and Road initiative was "unlikely to be plagued with widescale debt sustainability problems".
For imports, risk is greatest for communication equipment (i.e. cell phones), computer equipment, apparel, semiconductors and some consumer goods. In the past, Chinese analysts have suggested that Washington does not truly want to solve the Korea issue, because a lasting peace there would remove the rationale for its bases in South Korea.
Fears of an escalating trade war roiled Asian markets, hitting the share prices of steelmakers and manufacturers supplying United States markets particularly hard.
The US president was expected to approve the 25% levy on steel and 10% on aluminium imports this week, possibly as early as Thursday.
"While the president's instincts are correct, the execution on these tariffs is poor".
Worsening trade ties will test China's policy of "strategic composure" in dealing with Mr Trump's America First ethos. "We raised this with the prior administration and nothing happened. Nothing more. Hope this does not seem unreasonable".
The Chinese commerce ministry criticised Trump for taking unilateral action instead of working through the World Trade Organisation.
Bilateral ties were affected by a number of issues previous year, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, China blocking efforts at the United Nations to list Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist as well as India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The shipping data doesn't exactly align with customs data as it doesn't include any iron ore China imports that come overland, such as from neighbouring Mongolia.