China on Monday warned of a possible trade war with the US if Washington begins investigating alleged Chinese trade practices in bilateral commerce.

US President Donald Trump had notified his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that the investigations could begin on Monday, Efe news reported.

“China and the US have intertwined interests, trade war has no future, the only result would be a lose-lose (situation),” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference.

She urged the US to continue working with China for stable economic relations and asked it not to use the conflict in North Korea as a means to pressure Beijing in trade matters.

Trump is expected to order US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to start an investigation into possible unfair trade practices by China, such as patent infringement and forced transfer of intellectual property.

Chinese experts cited by the state-run Global Times newspaper on Monday also warned of the dangers of such investigation.

“This may worsen trade friction between the two countries and jeopardise the results of the first comprehensive economic dialogue,” said Huo Jianguo, Vice Chairman of the China Society for World Trade Organisation Studies.

“If the US uses Section 301 (of the Trade Act) to pressure China, countries in China’s export chain, including the US, Japan and South Korea, would be affected,” said Liu Ligang, Chief Economist for China at Citigroup.