China's commerce ministry said on Sunday it had launched an anti-dumping investigation into imports of U.S. chicken products and vehicles, as the foreign ministry slammed the United States for protectionism.

Domestic industry had asked the government to counter unfair trade practices used to help import products, the Ministry of Commerce said on its website (

China and the United States have vowed to cooperate in seeking to revive global economic growth.

China consistently and resolutely opposes trade protectionism, which has been proved by its behavior since (the start of) the financial crisis, the commerce ministry said.

But foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu also reinforced commerce ministry criticism of a U.S. decision to impose extra duty on Chinese-made tires, saying the move sent a dangerous protectionist signal before a G20 summit.

This is going to damage financial and trade cooperation between China and the United States, and does not help push the world economy toward an early recovery, Jiang said in a statement posted on the ministry website (

The tire dispute brought continued friction over trade into focus, which could spill into the G20 summit this month and U.S. President Barack Obama's scheduled visit to China in November.

Jiang said China had already had stern talks with U.S. officials, and reserved the right to take further countermeasures.

(Reporting by Emma Graham-Harrison and Langi Chiang; Editing by Dan Lalor)