CHINA’S foreign trade development is expected to further stabilize and improve in 2018, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday.

“China’s foreign trade continued to stabilize and improve in the first four months this year and the trend will continue through the year,” said Gao Feng, the ministry spokesperson.

China’s goods exports rose 6.4 percent year-on-year to 4.81 trillion yuan (US$756 billion) in the January-April period, while imports grew 11.7 percent to 4.3 trillion yuan, resulting in a trade surplus of 506.24 billion yuan, which narrowed by 24.1 percent, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

“Growing global demand amid a recovering world economy, as well as China’s sound economic fundamentals and supply-side structural reforms, have supported foreign trade,” Gao said.

In April, the goods trade surplus shrank by 27 percent to 182.8 billion yuan, as exports rose 3.7 percent year-on-year to 1.27 trillion yuan, while imports grew 11.6 percent to 1.09 trillion yuan.

“Trade surplus is not our goal,” said Gao, adding the current trade surplus is totally driven by market forces, and trade balance conditions will vary with market changes.

China hoped the development of its foreign trade would not only benefit Chinese people, but also the rest of the world and the global economy, to bring the community with a shared future for mankind even closer, according to the spokesman.

Speaking of Sino-US economic and trade ties, Gao said China and the United States should strengthen cooperation and properly manage differences.

Gao expressed expectations that under the guidance of the two heads of state, China and the United States would earnestly continue in-depth communication under the principles of mutual respect and equal consultation.

The two heads of state have reached important consensus on properly solving bilateral economic and trade issues during a phone conversation on May 8, according to Gao.

As to possible imposition of additional tariffs on Chinese products announced by the U.S. side, Gao reiterated that China’s position on the issue has not changed and will not change.

“China objects to the practices of unilateralism and trade protectionism, and the US should put away its threatening stick,” Gao said, adding that “the Chinese side will resolutely defend the interests of the state and its people.”

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