China's trade surplus with the United States widened in 2017 while total foreign trade volume maintained rapid growth, customs data showed Friday.
Trade surplus with the United States soared 13 percent year on year to 1.87 trillion yuan (about 288 billion U.S. dollars), according to Huang Songping, spokesperson of the General Administration of Customs.
China's trade volume with the United States expanded 15.2 percent in 2017 to 3.95 trillion yuan, accounting for 14.2 percent of the total.
Exports to the United States climbed 14.5 percent while imports from the country jumped 17.3 percent.
In 2017, the United States was China's second largest trade partner and China hopes to deepen economic and trade cooperation with the country to achieve mutual benefits, Huang said.
Huang also noted that global protectionism is still on the rise with a high frequency of trade remedy investigations into Chinese products, which has become one of the uncertainties facing international trade in 2018.
At a press conference Thursday, the Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng said that the trade imbalance between China and the United States is mainly a result of different economic structures, industrial competitiveness and international division of labor, and China has never sought a trade surplus as the flow of trade is determined by the market.
In response to a U.S. Section 301 investigation into Chinese intellectual property and technology transfer launched late last year, Gao said that the trade investigation is based on its own laws and regulations and will compromise the international trade framework.
China will take necessary measures to protect Chinese enterprises' interests if the United States sticks to unilateral protectionist trade practices, he said.
Customs data also showed that China's total trade surplus shrank 14.2 percent in 2017 to 2.87 trillion yuan, compared with a 9.1-percent reduction registered in 2016.
China's exports increased 10.8 percent to reach 15.33 trillion yuan while imports surged 18.7 percent to 12.46 trillion yuan in 2017.