China Oil Imports Up 30% In December, Gas Imports Hit Record

China Oil Imports Up 30% In December, Gas Imports Hit Record

"China effectively tackled changes of the external environment previous year, and the foreign trade maintained stable and positive growth, reaching a historic high in import and export volume", GAC spokesman Li Kuiwen told a press conference.

China's trade surplus with the United States rose to $323.32 billion past year, the highest on record going back to 2006, Reuters calculations based on customs data showed on Monday. Total trade reached $ 4.62 trillion, a 12.6 percent rise from 2017, according to customs data.

China's exports grew by 9.9 percent to $2.48 trillion, and imports increased by 15.8 percent to $2.14 trillion, he added.

The country is also the world's second-largest importer of LNG because of its drive to shift away from coal and into gas as it fights one of the worst pollution problems globally. China's surplus is the U.S.'s trade deficit.

However, in a sign that the White House's measures are having an impact, China's exports to the United States sank last month.

Trump wants Beijing to buy more American goods to narrow the yawning trade gap and allow foreign players better access and protection in the Chinese market.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly slammed China's trade surplus with the US and the country's allegedly unfair trade practices.

China's trade growth slowed in 2018 as a tariff battle with Washington heated up and global consumer demand weakened.

Official data showed the manufacturing sector contracted in December for the first time in more than two years.