China's foreign exchange reserves had climbed to US$987.9 billion by the end of September, up 28.46 percent on the previous year, the People's Bank of China reported yesterday.
The central bank report said the reserves increased by US$169 billion in the first nine months of the year.
Official figures show the increase in reserves fell to US$15.9 billion in September from US$17.5 billion in August, but still higher than July's US$13.6 billion.
Statistics released on Thursday by the General Administration of Customs showed that China's trade surplus in the first nine months of this year hit US$109.85 billion, higher than the total of US$101.88 billion for the whole year in 2005.
The large growth in trade surplus has exerted greater pressure on the country to appreciate its currency value.
The yuan's value rose to 7.9087 to the US dollar at the end of September, bringing the currency's total appreciation to more than 2.66 percent since reform of the RMB exchange rate system began in July last year.
Premier Wen Jiabao said China placed great importance on the rational use of the foreign exchange reserves, which should be used to increase imports of advanced technologies and to support the financial reforms and companies' restructuring efforts.
Wen also said restrictions on the use of reserves by corporations and residents should be eased.
China plans to wipe out the trade surplus by increasing imports. The trade volume is set to reach US$2.3 trillion by 2010 with an annual growth of about 10 percent.
(Xinhua News Agency October 14, 2006)