BEIJING, July 18 (Reuters) - China's Commerce Ministry expressed strong opposition on Friday to an anti-dumping investigation started by the United States into imports of Chinese tyres, the latest trade row between the world's two largest economies.
The ministry said in a statement that the application for the probe had serious flaws and that the U.S. tyre industry did not support it.
"The U.S. side still instigated the probe despite the opposition of relevant industry organisations, contravening World Trade Organisation rules and U.S. domestic law. China expresses its strong opposition," it said.
The United States adopted such measures in 2009, causing serious harm to Sino-U.S. trade ties, the ministry added.
"The facts prove that special protection measures by the U.S. have brought no tangible benefits to U.S. tyre producers," it said.
China hopes the United States has learnt from previous experience and will handle this case cautiously to avoid affecting relations between relevant companies in each country, the ministry added.
Trade is one of a number of sensitive points in bilateral relations between the two countries, which are at odds over everything from human rights to the value of China's currency.
China's commerce minister urged the United States this week not to abuse the global trade system by imposing duties on Chinese goods to protect its own economy, following a rebuke to Washington by the WTO. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Alan Raybould)