Beijing has slammed a move by President Donald Trump to probe China's practices on intellectual property (IP) and technology transfer, a decision widely welcomed in the United States.
Employing harsh words, China's Commerce Ministry slammed Mr Trump's decision as one of "strong unilateralism", and accused the US of being "saboteurs of multilateral rules", saying the trade probe would violate international rules.
It also warned that China would not sit back, but would take necessary measures to safeguard its "legitimate rights".
In the US, however, the general consensus was that the probe was long overdue and necessary.
Despite widespread fears, analysts remained circumspect about the possibility of a trade war breaking out in the immediate future.
SEE TOP OF THE NEWS: Beijing slams probe as 'strong unilateralism'