Exports to China up 18.3% in first two months

China's trade surplus with US balloons

China's March trade balance weakens

The quarterly trade figures came alongside data showing China's exports declined unexpectedly in March, while imports grew more-than-expected.

Earlier this week at the Boao Forum on Hainan Island in southern China, President Xi Jinping promised to cut tariffs in certain sectors and further open up the financial and insurance industries.

China's global trade balance swung to a rare deficit last month as exports shrank, but its surplus with the U.S., the center of a worsening dispute with Washington, stood at US$15.4 billion. "We hope that the United States will listen patiently to rational and pragmatic voices on the trade balance issue".

Angola is in second place terms of China's trade with Portuguese-speaking countries with trade with China totalling US$4.61 billion, with Luanda sending Beijing products worth US$4.23 billion and making purchases of US$380.8 million.

China's exports growth unexpectedly fell in March, the first drop since February a year ago, raising questions about the health of one of the economy's key growth drivers even as trade tensions rapidly escalate with the United States.

"China's import could be more resilient than export growth in our view as China has pledged to increase imports", said Lisheng Wang, an economist at Nomura in Hong Kong. His speech did not specifically mention the United States or its trade policies, which have been assailed by Chinese state media in recent days.

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Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters during a regular briefing, however, that Xi's remarks had nothing to do with the trade row and should not be mischaracterized as a concession to Washington.

Trump has portrayed the issue in a more favourable light.

South Korea and China have held vice ministerial talks on a regular basis since 1993, right after they established diplomatic ties. "I think we're having some great discussions", he told the gathering of lawmakers in Washington, though he repeated that the USA would win a trade war between the two sides. "We have seen Chinese ships around us", Rear Admiral Steve Koehler, the strike group commander, said onboard the warship. "And, you know, at a certain point, they run out of bullets".

Analysts expected China would record a trade surplus of US$27.21 billion for last month, from February's surplus of US$33.75 billion.

So far the large threats wielded by both sides have not been implemented.

Trade between the two nations remained strong in the first quarter, with bilateral exchanges rising 13 percent to $142 billion.

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