China maintained solid export growth of 12.6 percent in May, slightly slower than in April, but still providing good news for Beijing's policymakers as they deal with tough trade negotiations with Washington.
Imports also rose more than anticipated in May and at the fastest pace since January, with the data coming at a time when China has pledged to its trade partners - including the United States - that steps would be taken to increase imports.
China, the world's largest exporter, has so far escaped any major blow to its foreign trade sector despite rising trade tensions with the United States, which last week warned it would continue to pursue tariffs on Chinese imports.
Imports grew 26 percent in May, the General Administration of Customs said, beating analysts' forecast of 18.7 percent growth, and compared with a 21.5 percent rebound in April.
China posted a trade surplus of $24.92 billion for the month. Analysts had forecast the trade surplus would increase to $31.9 billion in May from $28.38 billion in April.