China registered its first trade surplus in three years, a massive $4.5 billion from January to June, the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade announced Wednesday.

Export earnings reached $20.22 billion, a rise of 16.1 percent over the first six months of 1987, and imports totaled $15.63 billion, up by 24.3 percent, ministry spokesman Liu Xiangdong said at a news conference.China had a trade deficit of $2 billion during the same period last year.