China's surplus with the US swelled in June, data showed Friday, likely stoking tensions with Donald Trump, who has imposed tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods citing unfair trade practices.
The increase came as total trade between the world's top two economies rose 13.1 percent for the first half of the year, despite the face-off, which has seen tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods and warnings of more to come.
China's surplus with the US rose to $133.8 billion in January-June, and a record $28.97 billion last month.
The imbalance is at the heart of Trump's anger at what he describes as Beijing's unfair trade practices that are hurting American companies and destroying jobs.
But on Thursday, China blamed those problems on the US, saying the trade imbalance was "overestimated" and caused by "domestic structural problems" in the United States, in a statement from the commerce ministry.
"This trade dispute will definitely have an impact on China-US trade and will have a very negative impact on global trade," said customs administration spokesman Huang Songping at a briefing Friday.
With the wider world, China's exports rose 11.3 percent on-year in June, beating a Bloomberg News forecast of 9.5 percent, while imports increased 14.1 percent, below the forecast 21.3 percent.
The trade imbalance is heart of Donald Trump's anger at what he describes as Beijing's unfair trade practices that are hurting American companies