China "strongly opposes" the US's decision to probe five extra types of its textiles goods, on the grounds that it encourages exploitation of restrictive measures already in place.

Chong Quan, spokesman for the Beijing-based Ministry of Commerce, said: 'The move encourages the American textile industry to abuse trade restraining measures against Chinese textiles and is against the free trade concepts of the World Trade Organization.

"We hope that the US side will treat such applications prudently and China reserves the right under the WTO framework to take further measures"

The US has already imposed safeguard quotas on seven types of Chinese textiles since the international quota system expired at the start of 2005,  leading to a surge in exports of many categories of goods.

The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements said Monday that it was launching investigations into five more exports of Chinese textile goods, and that it would consider applying restrictions on them if necessary.

Chong added, however, the Ministry's appreciates the US's attempts to find a mutually pleasing answer to the ongoing trade feud with China.