China's global trade volume rose a year ago but its surplus with the world fell 16.2% to $351.76 billion in 2018, as imports rose 15.8% while exports gained 9.9%.
China imported 30 percent more crude oil in December than a year earlier, Reuters reports, citing fresh customs data.
Private enterprises played a bigger role, accounting for 39.7 percent of the total foreign trade, up 1.1 percentage points compared with 2017.
China's surplus with the U.S. is a hot-button issue with the administration of President Donald Trump, which slapped new import tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods past year.
The Customs office is expected to release trade numbers for December later in the day.
Bolton asked Pentagon to develop military options for strike against Iran
Embassy and resulted in no casualties, the Journal reported, adding that he Basra attacks did not affect the consulate operations. The request came after mortars were launched by militants, affiliated with Iran, towards the United States embassy in Baghdad .
In December 2018, therefore, China imported 9.23 million tons of gas, both by pipeline and as LNG, up 17 percent on the year. That reflects the impact of Beijing's retaliatory tariffs and encouragement to importers to buy more from non-U.S. suppliers.
Renewed fears over the strength of the global economy piled pressure on stock markets and commodity prices this morning after China revealed a sharp drop in exports.
In 2018, the USA imposed billions of dollars worth of tariffs on Chinese products, prompting retaliation from Beijing and a trade war that analysts fear could escalate further and damage the global economy.
Last year's trade surplus was $352 billion, the figures showed.