efe-epaBeijing

China announced on Thursday it will file another formal complaint to the World Trade Organization after the United States formally imposed 25 percent tariffs on various Chinese goods valued at $16 billion.

In a statement released Thursday, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said Beijing strongly opposes the move, adding that the decision of US President Donald Trump's administration goes against the principles of the WTO.

Beijing responded with countermeasures matching the US move.

Chinese authorities, who already submitted several complaints to the WTO against Trump's protectionist measures last July, insisted on their need to safeguard free trade and multilateral mechanisms as well as their legitimate rights and interests.

US Customs officially began levying the taxes at midnight on a total of 279 products, including certain types of lubricants, flexible plastic tubes and air conditioners, among others.

This is the second round of additional tariffs imposed on Chinese products and adds to those that entered into force on Jul. 6 on Chinese imports valued at $34 billion, adding a total package of $50 billion.

In recent months trade talks between Washington and Beijing have been unable to prevent tariffs imposed by the US, to which China has responded with similar measures.

This new episode in the trade war between the world's two largest economies could make negotiations scheduled for next week even more difficult.

A Chinese delegation of second-level authorities had met in Washington with a Trump team Wednesday and the meeting is expected to continue Thursday as well, although no details have been provided as yet.