In a major boost for the government, China's exports surged by 9.9 per cent in September to $186.35 billion, as the struggling Asian giant tries to emerge from a slowdown that threatened to cause social unrest.
The general administration of customs (GAC) announced on Saturday that the country's total foreign trade was up by 6.3 per cent year-on-year at $345.03 billion in September. Foreign trade grew by 6.2 per cent during the first nine months of the year to $2.84 trillion.
While exports were up by 7.4 per cent to $1.5 trillion in the first three quarters of the year, imports rose by 4.8 per cent to $1.35 trillion. China's trade surplus during the first nine months added up to almost $150 billion. In September, the trade surplus expanded to $27.7 billion, from $26.7 billion in August.
The buoyant figures would bring relief to the Communist party, which will be holding its crucial congress on 8 November to pick up new leaders. Both president Hu Jintao and prime minister Wen Jiabao are due to retire by the end of the year, while some other 'promising' new generation leaders have been caught up in scandals.
Bo Xilai, who was among the top 25 in the politburo – and party boss at Chongquing – and Wang Lijun, his right-hand man, have been sidelined after they were embroiled in a series of scandals.
Bo, whose wife Gu Kailai, has been convicted of murdering a British businessman and sentenced to a suspended death penalty, has been sacked from the party. Wang, a former Chongquing police chief who escaped to the US consulate in a neighbouring city, has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.