Exports were up 45.7 percent in February over a year earlier, the Chinese customs agency reported.
Imports also were up strongly, rising by 44.7 percent in February from a year earlier, the agency said, reflecting China's revival from the global economic crisis.
China’s trade surplus shrank to the lowest level in a year in February as a surge in imports signaled the nation may start to outshine the U.S. as a destination for the world’s goods.
The diminishing surplus signals that trade may be a drag on China’s expansion, a contrast with the U.S., where net exports contributed more to growth in the past two years than any time since the 1940s. While China’s exports are also rising, policy makers indicated last week they are seeking more evidence of a sustained recovery before they will let the yuan appreciate.
China's trade figures can be distorted by the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday, which falls at varying times in January and February.
Combining data from the two months, which analysts say produces a more accurate picture of trade conditions, shows exports surged 31.4 percent in the January-February period over the same time last year.