"There is still time to prevent conflict and chaos", he added.
Tusk made the comment on Monday when he and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker arrived in Beijing to hold talks with Chinese counterparts at the 20th China-EU summit. Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.
China's commerce ministry said on Monday it has filed a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding Washington's proposed tariff list on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods, Reuters reports.
China's commerce ministry confirmed last month that Chinese exporters were front-loading exports to the U.S. to get ahead of expected tariffs - a situation that could exacerbate any slowdown in shipments toward the year-end.
Chinese Ambassador to the European Union wrote in a Chinese newspaper editorial on Sunday before the talks: "I hope during the summit China and the European Union will consolidate consensus and trust... and send a joint message defending multilateralism, free trade and investment facilitation".
The comments, from EU Council President Donald Tusk, came as Washington and Beijing stand on the brink of a trade war which many fear could hammer the global economy, while the United States has also picked fights with allies in Europe and Canada. The Chinese government have threatened to take "firm and forceful measures" if Trump does indeed follow through on his threat.
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China criticized the second round of US tariffs but has yet to say whether it would retaliate against those, too.
Officials have expressed hopes of producing a modest communique that will affirm both sides' commitments to the multilateral trading system.
Also Monday, the European Union urged the United States, China and Russian Federation to work together to ease worsening global trade tensions, warning that they could otherwise spiral into "conflict and chaos". Leaders failed to find sufficient consensus for such a joint statement after meetings in 2016 and 2017. The attempts do, however, provide some insight into Chinese economic goals as Beijing attempts to incentivize certain European political decisions through offers to open up new parts of its own economy for European investment.
China's ambassador to the EU on Sunday wrote in Chinese state media that the annual China-EU leaders' meeting would focus on how the two sides could become a "standard of stability" amid the "din of unilateralism and protectionism".
Trump accuses China of unfair trade practices, such as subsidizing certain industries and ripping off American intellectual property.
The commerce ministry also said this week it will use funds collected from tariffs charged on imports from the U.S. to help ease the impact of United States trade actions on Chinese companies and their employees. Ahead of the meeting, the central bank released its accompanying policy report which showed USA economic growth and the Fed expecting to keep raising rates gradually. Tusk on Twitter called it "fake news", saying America and the European Union are "best friends".