The growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) of China slowed in the second quarter, as the world's second largest economy faced a snowballing trade fight with the United States. This is thanks to the effort by US President Donald Trump to narrow American trade deficits with different countries in general and with China in particular. In order to do that, the Trump administration has imposed tariffs on a host of goods the US imports from China, to which China retaliated, making the trade war virtually spiral out of control.

The economy expanded by 6.7% in April-June, down from 6.8% in the first quarter, and in line with a 6.7% rate tipped in a recent survey of economists.

Despite the quarterly deceleration, the growth was still higher than the annual target of around 6.5% set by the government.

China faced an "extremely complex environment both at home and abroad", said Mao Shengyong, a spokesman for the national statistics bureau.

The impact of the deepening trade conflict with the US was yet to fully kick in, according to analysts, who added that Beijing's battle to rein in pollution and spiralling debt levels had crimped growth.

Both Washington DC and Beijing slapped tariffs on $34 billion of the goods of each other earlier this month, with the US threatening to impose further tariffs on another USD 200 billion in Chinese goods.

Beijing has vowed to retaliatem, but has not yet said what measures it will take.

China's government is facing a multi-front battle to defend its economy, fighting to reduce the debt mountain while the yuan and local stock markets tumble in the face of the US trade conflict.