China's international trade prospects are unlikely to see any significant improvement in the near future, according to a government official.
Shen Danyang, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, told the Xinhua news agency that the difficulties facing China's foreign trade "are not short-term", with downward pressures continuing to prevail and instability remaining a key problem.
This comes after the nation's imports unexpectedly rose in August for the first time in nearly two years, boosted by a surge in demand for coal and other commodities, while exports saw a better performance than has been seen recently.
However, in the first eight months of the year, 20 countries and regions have launched 85 investigations into China's exports, with the US being particularly aggressive in its actions.
As such, the ministry has pledged to work with other government agencies to help cut costs for exporters and importers in order to further stimulate performance.
Mr Shen said: "We cannot be blindly optimistic about China's imports and exports and the situation is still complex and grim."