Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the opening bell, August 2, 2018 in New York City.
A statement said: "Any unilateral threat or blackmail will only lead to intensification of conflicts and damage to the interests of all parties".
"The implementation date of the taxation measures will be subject to the actions of the U.S., and China reserves the right to continue to introduce other countermeasures", the Chinese government press release stated.
In a message to the White House, China's finance ministry said exactly when the tariffs would come into force would depend on Washington's response. The move was meant to bring China back to the negotiating table for talks over USA demands for structural changes to the Chinese economy and a cut in the bilateral trade deficit.
The move is in response to threats by the Trump administration to raise the tariff rate on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
Presumed US remains from site of famous Korean War battle
Trump has maintained his optimism about North Korea's denuclearization, while saying there is no time limit on the negotiations. The ambassador added a good starting point would be a North Korea list of nuclear facilities.
But Kudlow's toughest words came about the Chinese economy itself, which is second only to the United States.
Washington and Beijing are locked in battle over American accusations that China's export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, as well as theft of American technological know-how.
While the tariffs imposed by the European Union still remain in place, the bloc has agreed not to implement more while negotiators from Washington and Brussels attempt to thrash out a deal.
The trade war between the two superpowers has escalated in recent months after Donald Trump's administration imposed tariffs on $34bn of Chinese goods in July.
The Chinese commerce ministry blamed the United States for escalating the situation.