BRUSSELS, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) - America's newly announced tariff measure against China is a unilateral act and has significantly harmed the rule-based multilateral system, a former Chinese vice finance minister told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"Then who causes the greatest harm to the current international economic system? The reality doesn't lie. It's the United States itself," said Zhu Guangyao, one of the leading members of a Chinese think tank delegation which is currently in Europe for high-level exchanges with European counterparts.
"Its trade protectionism not only undermines the prospect of the world economy, but will also hurt its own long-term development," Zhu said on the sidelines of an event co-organized by the China Center for International Economic Exchanges and the Bank of China on Tuesday.
Disregarding overwhelming international and domestic opposition, the United States decided to impose additional 10-percent tariffs on 200 billion US dollars worth of Chinese products from Sept. 24 and will take other escalating tariff measures.
China said Tuesday it will levy additional tariffs on U.S. products worth 60 billion dollars starting from Sept. 24.
The US government's willful decision has led to the escalation of trade friction between the two countries. China was forced to take countermeasures to defend free trade and the multilateral system, and its own legitimate rights and interests, China's Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council said in a statement.
China plays an extremely important and active role in the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and even the World Bank, helping reform and improve the current global economic system, and will by no means discard the existing system, said Zhu.
"China is a participant, builder and contributor to the international economic system and the entire contemporary international system," he said.
Running against US President Donald Trump's stated goal in raising tariffs, the United States recently posted a 50.1 billion US dollar trade deficit in goods and services in July, the highest level since February.
Aiming to raise mutual understanding between China and Europe, the high-level Chinese think tank delegation is the first of its kind that has ever landed in Europe.
With Brussels being its first leg, the delegation will also make stops in Geneva and Berlin for discussions with local think tanks on such topics as the prospect of the multilateral trading system, Sino-German-US economic trade relations.