Washington and Beijing are making global headlines with threats over the prospect of a trade war, but they're also hurling indirect criticisms at each other on a more subtle front: Official travel warnings cautioning their respective citizens about the dangers associated with traveling from China to the USA - or vice-versa.
Over 40 WTO members, including the 28 countries of the European Union - warned that the US action could seriously disrupt the world market and threaten the WTO system, given the importance of cars to world trade.
The World Trade Organization warned on Wednesday that trade barriers being erected by major economies could jeopardize the global economic recovery, with their effects already starting to show.
But the last two summits in 2016 and 2017 ended without a statement due to disagreements over the South China Sea and trade.
The widely-read Global Times tabloid said in an editorial that China must prepare for containment by the United States.
It also underscores China's new boldness in trying to seize leadership amid divisions between the United States and its European, Canadian and Japanese allies over issues including free trade, climate change and foreign policy.
Bloomberg news reports that talks to avoid a trade war have stalled in part over U.S. demands that China reduce state support for high-tech industries. Japan's government has warned in a report that a higher USA tariff on auto imports could backfire, jeopardizing hundreds of thousands of American jobs created by Japanese auto-related companies, raising prices for US consumers and devastating the USA and global economy.
"Public security in the United States is not good".
On July 6, tariffs on United States dollars 34 billion worth of imports will take effect, and Beijing has promised to retaliate in kind.
"Trump has split the West, and China is seeking to capitalize on that".
Beijing officials on Wednesday delayed implementing retaliatory tariffs by 12 hours - not wanting to draw first blood in a potential trade war.
Just days ago the president enacted tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which he said could lead to duties on foreign-made auto parts.
A European diplomat said: "China wants the European Union to stand with Beijing against Washington, to take sides".
"China will not bow down in the face of threats and blackmail and will not falter from its determination to defend free trade and the multilateral system". Tabloid newspaper Global Times, which is owned by the Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily, said the escalating trade dispute would create chaos around the world.