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Business

China trade surplus drops, but not with US

Chinese exports and imports picked up steam last year, fresh figures from the customs administration have shown. Shipments to the US rose considerably, increasing Beijing's controversial trade surplus.

Strong global demand saw China's foreign trade activities increase considerably in 2017, the General Administration of Customs reported Friday.

The Asian nation's exports last year expanded by 7.9 percent, while imports soared by 15.9 percent for the year.

"China's foreign trade continued to build on a solid foundation for steady growth, its potential being gradually unleashed," said customs spokesman Huang Songping.

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Pouring oil into the fire

In fact, the world's second-largest economy performed better than expected, with most indicators showing a positive trend. International organizations such as the IMF have warned, however, that growth in China is fueled by rising debt threatening the country's financial stability.

In 2017, China's overall trade surplus came in at $422.5 billion (€350.8 billion), roughly $64 billion less than in the previous year.

But even as the country's surplus with the world dropped by 17 percent, shipments to the US grew by 11.5 percent.

China's surplus with the US is a hot-button issue with the Trump administration, which added new import tariffs to a number of Chinese goods last year.

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hg/jd (AFP, dpa)

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