Chinese exports rose by seven per cent in May compared with a year earlier, with imports down by 1.6 per cent over the same period, according to the Chinese General Administration of Customs.
With May exports reaching $195.47bn and imports of $159.55bn, the trade surplus for the country rose to $35.92bn, almost doubling from $18.45bn in April, and its highest since it hit $39.21bn in January 2009.
Exports to the EU rose by 13.4 per cent in May, slightly down from the 15.1 per cent increase in April.
China is targeting a 7.5 per cent growth rate for 2014, and while the rise in exports was a welcome sign for the Asian giant, the unexpected drop in imports will fuel concerns of a weakening of domestic demand.
The Chinese government introduced a mini-stimulus in April after disappointing first quarter growth.