Chinese stock markets tumbled for a second straight day on Wednesday as investors crowded the exits, fearing a government campaign to prop up share prices was faltering and unnerved by a steady stream of gloomy economic news.
China`s exports in the first five months rose 0.7 percent from a year earlier, far from the government`s target of 6 percent this year. Exports to Europe and Japan fell 6.9 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively, and shipments to Southeast Asia were flat.
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered in the streets around Taiwan`s Parliament on Sunday to protest a trade pact with China, a nearly 2-week-old protest that is challenging the president`s policy of moving the democratic island economically closer to China.
Asian shares cautiously rebounded from two-week lows on Thursday though investors were in no mood to embrace risk ahead of a batch of Chinese data that may offer clues about the extent of its economic slowdown.
The Ministry of Commerce said that China was the leading merchandise trader in 2013 and its trade totalled 4.16 trillion dollars in 2013 with exports reaching 2.21 trillion dollars and imports of 1.95 trillion dollars.
Imports increased 7.3 percent to USD 1.95 trillion and China's trade surplus widened to USD 259.75 billion in 2013, a rise of 12.8 percent from a year earlier, Zheng Yuesheng, spokesman for the General Administration of Customs, told the media here today.
China opened a new free trade zone in Shanghai on Sunday in what has been hailed as potentially the boldest reform move in decades, unveiling fresh details of plans to liberalise regulations governing finance, investment and trade in the zone.
Deputy Foreign Trade Secretary Francisco de Rosenzweig said in a press conference that during Chinese President Xi Jinping's official visit to Mexico, which began Tuesday and ended Thursday, progress made in three trade sectors.