Exports rose 2.7 percent year-on-year in August to $177.97 billion, slightly weaker than expected. However, the rate of growth improved from 1 percent recorded in July.
Meanwhile, imports fell 2.6 percent year-on-year to $151.79 billion against anticipations on the contrary. The outcome was in contrast to July's 4.7 percent growth.
The trade balance showed a surplus of $26.66 billion compared to expectations for a surplus of $19.5 billion. In July, the trade surplus was $25.1 billion.
China's trade with the European Union, its largest trade partner, dropped 1.9 percent year on year in the January-August period to $365.05 billion, figures show.
During the period, trade with Japan dipped 1.4 percent from a year earlier to $218.7 billion.
Meanwhile, trade with the United States, the country's second-largest trade partner, climbed 9.6 percent year on year to $312.97 billion in the first eight months, according to the GAC.
Chinese President Hu Jintao said that the economy is facing notable downward pressure largely due to slowing export growth.