Beijing: As it braces for once in a decade leadership transition, China on Saturday acknowledged its economy faced a "grim situation" due to lingering pressure on its exports and rising domestic costs and accused US of trying to defame its telecom firms.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Communist Party Congress being held here to select new leaders and new policies, Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said "trade situation will be relatively grim in the next few months and there will be many difficulties next year".
His comments came even as China's exports showed positive growth with 11.6 percent increase in October as against the same period of last year, while imports climbed 2.4 percent year on year.
The October trade surplus widened to USD 31.99 billion from USD 27.67 billion USD in September and USD 26. 66 billion USD in August.
In the first ten months, the country's foreign trade volume expanded 6.3 percent from the same period of last year, the administration said.
China has targeted a 10 percent growth in total foreign trade this year, a figure which officials admit is going to be hard to achieve.
China's trade volume with the European Union, its largest trade partner, fell three percent to USD 452.83 billion in the first ten months while that with the US, the second-largest trade partner, climbed 9.1 percent to USD 396.09 billion.
Trade with Japan declined 2.1 percent from one year earlier to USD 275.47 billion during the January-October period.
China's GDP slid to 7.4 percent in Q4, falling below the 7.5 percent target fixed for this year.
The conference deliberated measures to boost domestic consumption to alter the composition of largely export dependent economy to avert economic downturn.
Chen also criticised recent US Congress report that accused Chinese technology firms Huawei and ZTE of threatening American national security.