steel mill in China
Photo: XINHUA/XU YU/EPA
China has tightened the tone in the trade dispute with the United States that has been smoldering for years.
At a meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on controversial issues on Friday, the representative of the People's Republic called the trade rival a "bully" and "rule breaker".
The comments by China's envoy to the WTO, Li Cheggang, appeared to be a reaction to a recent US move.
The United States had appealed a recent WTO ruling that the United States had breached international rules.
The reason was the tariffs on steel and aluminum introduced under the presidency of Donald Trump.
Biden kept China tariffs
In the event of a dispute over the metal tariffs, the WTO could now review the US appeal, but is unlikely to be able to do so for structural reasons.
The highest appellate body of the WTO is currently paralyzed - because the United States itself blocked the appointment of judges.
"China would have hoped that the US would show the necessary self-restraint not to appeal every unfavorable report," Li said. The WTO decision ended in a "hole created by the US itself."
Former US President Trump imposed tariffs worth billions in the trade dispute with China in 2018 and 2019.
That led to higher prices.
China has long argued that reducing tariffs would benefit US consumers.
However, the US government under President Joe Biden has retained tariffs on steel and aluminum and justifies this with the protection of its own industry.
It was also announced on Friday that the USA, together with Japan and the Netherlands, intend to restrict the export of semiconductor production systems to China in the future.
The aim is apparently to slow Beijing's technological and military advances.