China's top macro-economic planner Ma Kai said on Thursday that the country's trade surplus is likely to "last for another period of time."
He added that the key question is not the existence of the surplus itself, but whether it is the result of fair play, beneficial to both sides involved in the trade, and whether it can be controlled within a certain scope.
Ma, minister in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), made the remark at a press conference held on the sidelines of the ongoing annual full session of the National People's Congress, the national legislature.
"One country's surplus is another country's deficit," Ma said. "It will be a long-term global issue in the process of globalization."
The United States has enjoyed a trade surplus for more than 80 years in history, Germany has maintained its trade surplus for 55 years since 1952, and Japan for 26 years till now, he said.
China's trade surplus soared 47.7 percent in 2007 to 262.2 billion U.S. dollars over the previous year. And in January, the country's trade surplus rose 22.6 percent year-on-year to 19.49 billion U.S. dollars, according to the General Administration of Customs. However, the trade surplus declined in monthly growth rate for the third consecutive occasion.
The government has listed the slowdown in trade surplus growth and steady expansion of external investment as a major task for 2008, according to Ma's economic planning report submitted to the NPC session on Wednesday.
(Xinhua News Agency March 6, 2008)