China recorded its largest monthly trade surplus in nearly a decade in December, US$11.1bn. For the whole of 2004, the surplus stood at US$32bn, the highest full-year balance since 1998. According to the Ministry of Commerce, China's total exports jumped 35.4% in 2004, to US$593.4bn. The figures came as the head of the State Administration of Taxation confirmed that 2004 had seen economic growth of over 9% for the second year in a row. Xie Xuren said efforts to tighten controls on tax evasion, combined with continued rapid growth had produced a 25.7% rise in tax revenues to RMB2.572trn (US$311bn). Commentators said that news of China's record surplus would likely increase pressure from trading partners to revalue the Chinese currency.
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