China has diversified its trade relations and become less dependent on developed economies, according to a spokesman for the General Administration of Customs (GAC) on Saturday.
From January to September, trade with the European Union, the United States and Japan accounted for 33.2 percent of China's total foreign trade volume during the period, down 2.6 percentage points from the same period last year, said GAC spokesman Zheng Yuesheng.
In the first nine months, combined exports and imports to China's nine Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Chile and Pakistan, rose 17 percent year on year, faster than its overall foreign trade growth of 7.7 percent, Zheng said.
Trade with the nine FTA partners accounted for 13.9 percent of the country's total foreign trade volume, compared with 12.8 percent in the same period last year, Zheng said.
Saturday's customs data showed China's exports fell unexpectedly by 0.3 percent in September from a year earlier, ending two consecutive months of gains, while imports increased 7.4 percent year on year.
Although challenged by a complicated global economic situation, Zheng said the country's foreign trade was stabilizing with an improved structure.
"China's dependance on external demand has weakened," Zheng said, which showed the country's economic development is transforming from being driven by external demand to domestic demand.
In the first half of the year, China's foreign trade dependence ratio, or the ratio of a given economy's foreign trade volume to its GDP, fell 0.7 percentage points from a year ago to 50.4 percent.