"The figures indicate that the government has taken measures to address the trade surplus," Liu said.
The measures included slashing or scrapping tax refunds for some export commodities and levying export duties on others.
"At the same time the government has encouraged imports," Liu said, citing the orders worth US$16.2 billion made this month in the United States.
Customs sources said China imported US$93.73 billion worth of machines and electronics and US$53.37 billion worth of new and high-tech products in the first quarter.
The China foreign trade report (spring edition) forecasts that foreign trade will reach US$1,600 billion this year, up 15 per cent on last year.
(China Daily 04/27/2006 page2)