That surplus widened to a record $34.1 billion in September as exports to the American market rose 13 percent from a year earlier to $46.7 billion, down slightly from August's 13.4 percent growth.
For January-September, China's trade surplus with the United States was $225.79 billion, compared with about $196.01 billion in the same period past year.
More than the tariffs, the worsening trade imbalance is also a reflection of the two countries' economies, experts said.
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But China's trade surplus with the United States grew 10 percent in September from a record $31 billion in August, according to China's customs administration.
"Exports continued to defy United States tariffs last month but imports struggled in the face of cooling domestic demand", said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a report. -China trade frictions "have been escalating and other instable factors still exist caused by a number of economic uncertainties worldwide", spokesman Li Kuiwen said.
The second round of tariffs that the Trump administration imposed on China came into effect only on September 24, so the increase in exports last month might have been the result of Chinese companies rushing to sell their products before the additional duties were added.
While the data showed China's trade remained strong for the month, analysts forecast the trade war will start to hurt in coming months. China then hit back with tariffs on about $60-billion of USA imports.
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The Trump administration has so far imposed tariffs on 250 million dollars-worth of Chinese goods, with Beijing retaliating in kind.
The Chinese yuan has lost almost 10 percent of its value against the US dollar this year.
China has steadfastly denied that it has manipulated the yuan to cope with the tariffs. "Their economy has gone down very substantially and I have a lot more to do if I want to do it".
Trump and Xi have agreed to meet next month at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires to discuss the escalating U.S.
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This growth exceeds that achieved in any of the years between 2012 and 2016, he said. But US growth will decline once parts of its fiscal stimulus go into reverse.
"I don't want to do it, but they have to come to the table".