Last Friday, the USA imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese products, and Beijing responded by hitting the same amount of US imports. Else trade-distorting policies could destroy the worldwide trading system, they warn.
China has also filed a number of cases against the USA tariffs under a separate proceeding focused on Chinese intellectual rights abuses.
Kudlow said on Wednesday that Xi was "holding the game up".
The chairperson of the WTO's Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB), Ambassador Eloi Laouru of Benin, summed up the discussions on Friday as a valuable opportunity to discuss the economic situation of a significant trader and "major player in the multilateral trading system" such as China. An Airbus-Boeing dispute, for example, took more than a decade to produce a final ruling.
A European Commission spokesman said that while the bloc's decision to retaliate was proportionate and WTO-compatible, the USA is entitled to seek an independent review in which the EU will explain and defend its position.
While there will be losses on both sides of the US-China trade war roiling the seafood sector at present, Dutch lender Rabobank says that Canada, Russia, Australia and others could benefit.
"Each time I came here, I have received more questions - a record number of questions", said Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen in a video statement about the latest China TPR, relative to the past ones. It also highlights Beijing's efforts to make coal a lesser part of its overall energy mix, along with reducing the role of fossil fuels overall, though coal still provides over 60 percent of China's energy.
The evidence of collateral damage and neglect abounds, from American dissatisfaction with the WTO's response to what it sees as abuse of free-trade principles and unfair practices by China, to doubts about USA commitment to the organisation, to China's agreement with the European Union to set up a working group to study reform and revamping of the WTO to make it more effective, and to China advocating that countries that have issues with it should use the WTO as a mechanism to solve their disputes.
Garment-maker Dongguan Xinyu Apparel Company, which mostly produces caps for export to the USA and Europe, is in no doubt about how damaging the tariffs could be, saying it would "definitely" have an impact on its business. According to a Geneva trade official, the USA disagreed with Wang's claims of compliance with adverse dispute settlement rulings, as well as the Chinese official's description of improved domestic enforcement of intellectual property rights.
The ministry pointed out that the countermeasures were needed to protect not only the national interests but also the whole system of the worldwide trade.
China's other battle is in foreign investments.
Hua pointed out that China had recently released a white paper, "China and the World Trade Organization".