The European Union says it will not modify its law charging foreign airlines for carbon emissions, despite a vow by Chinese carriers not to pay it.
EU laws say an airline can be fined in the first instance, or as a last resort banned from landing.
China's foreign ministry says the EU should consult the countries which object to the tax.
Last month, Europe's highest court ruled overseas airlines could be included in the EU emissions trading scheme. The tax took effect on 1 January.
China has warned that it may implement retaliatory measures against the levy.
The tax has been criticised by China, India, the United States and Canada.
The China Air Transport Association said its members would not co-operate with the ETS.