By Marcus Leach

New data has revealed that China's trade surplus has shrunk for a third straight year, as demand for its products weakened in the US and Europe.

According to Commerce Minister, Chen Deming, the surplus is believed to have been around $160bn (£103bn) in 2011. That compares with a record of $295bn in 2008.

China has warned that its export growth will come under more pressure this year as US and European economic problems persist. And as a result the government has been trying to boost domestic demand.

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