China's imports surged 26.3 percent year on year in October, while exports rose 20.1 percent, with the pace of growth both beating expectations, data showed Thursday.
However, its surplus with the United States fell to US$31.78 billion in October, down from a record high of US$34.13 billion in September.
Relations between the world's top two economies have soured sharply this year as US President Donald Trump slapped higher taxes on roughly half of Chinese imports and threatened to hit the other half.
According to Reuters, China recorded a trade surplus of $31.78 billion with the U.S.in October - down from a record $34.13 billion in September.
The upbeat trade readings offer good news for both those anxious about global demand and for China's policymakers after the economy logged its weakest growth since the global financial crisis in the third quarter.
"We hope that the meeting will not damage the trade relationship further as Trump once said that if the trade talks fail, then he could raise tariffs on all Chinese imported goods".
The Foreign Trade Centre, which organised last month's Canton Fair, said on Monday that export orders to the U.S. declined 30.3 per cent from a year earlier by value. September imports grew 14.3 percent on-year.
US President Donald Trump has said he's prepared to expand the tariffs to effectively cover all Chinese exports to the United States, which topped $500 billion previous year.
"The strong export growth in October was buoyed by front-loading activities by exporters.", said Iris Pang, Greater China Economist at ING in Hong Kong, noting the month is traditionally quieter due to long holidays.
"We believe that the cause of such strong growth is exporters' concern that the 10% tariffs on $200 billion of exported goods to the U.S. will rise to 25% on 1st Jan 2019, so they front-loaded export activities".
China's overall trade surplus was $34.01 billion for October, lower than the $35 billion economists had expected.
That was part of the explanation in May, June, July, August, and September for stronger exports, especially to the US. Xi presided over the opening of an import fair Monday in Shanghai that is meant to rebrand China as a welcoming market for other countries' goods.
A weakening yuan, which has slipped about nine percent against the dollar from its January high, has helped offset the extra tariff costs on Chinese products. "We are not particularly optimistic on China export growth in 2019". Last year, Xi estimated that China would import $24 trillion worth of goods over the coming 15 years.