China Will Be a 'Kung Fu Master in Response to US Tricks': Former Trade Official

China is preparing a devastating retaliation to new American tariffs on Chinese goods, a former commerce official has warned, as the trade war between the two nations escalates.

Last week, President Donald Trump's latest tariff hike on Chinese goods took effect, hitting $200 billion worth of imports by increasing duties from 10 to 25 percent. Trump has also now ordered Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to begin the process of raising tariffs on essentially all remaining imports from China, valued around $300 billion.

The new tariffs came into effect Friday, as American and Chinese representatives met to restart negotiations to end the trade war, which has shaken financial markets and undermined global trade.

But according to Wei Jianguo, a former vice minister at China's Ministry of Commerce, Trump's latest escalation will be met with a powerful response from Beijing.

“China will not only act as a kung fu master in response to U.S. tricks, but also as an experienced boxer and can deliver a deadly punch at the end,” Wei told the South China Morning Post. He explained that China has established contingency plans for increased American tariffs, and that the nation is well prepared to fight a drawn-out trade war.

“China has not only the determination and capability but also willingness to fight a prolonged war,” Wei said. “The decision-makers already fully understand the pattern of the U.S. in the trade talks.”

Wei suggested that American agricultural goods, planes and vehicles could all be key targets for Chinese retaliation. Their impact could be particularly keenly felt in the lead-up to the 2020 election. “If [the U.S.] does not realize its mistake, it will create problems of a historic nature,” he said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang echoed Wei's stubborn stance at his daily press briefing on Monday. “Copying a U.S. expression—wait and see,” Geng said when asked about the impact of Friday's tariff increases.

“We have said many times that adding tariffs won't resolve any problem,” he added. “China will never surrender to external pressure. We have the confidence and the ability to protect our lawful and legitimate rights.”

Chinese state media has also dismissed the latest American steps in the costly trade war and warned that the administrations miscalculations would end up costing the country dear. An editorial in the state-backed Global Times newspaper, for example, said America's maximum pressure policy “is useless.”

“Arrogant of its strength, Washington provoked the trade war, believing tariffs are enough to crush China,” the editorial read. “If the U.S. is to play a roller coaster–style thriller game, it will bear the consequences.”

China's largest newspaper—the official Communist Party publication the People's Daily—said China will at no time “forfeit the country's respect, and no one should expect China to swallow bitter fruit that harms its core interests,” CNBC reported.