First quarter sales increased by 2.8% to close to 7.2m vehicles from just over 7m units in the same period of previous year - in line with the association's forecast of 3% growth for the whole of 2018.
China's March trade surplus with the US fell to $15.32 billion, according to Reuters calculations based on official data, compared with $20.96 billion for February.
That produced an unexpected trade deficit of $4.98 billion for the month, but such shortfalls are not uncommon for China early in the year, again likely due to holiday distortions.
While Washington does not challenge Communist China's claim over Taiwan, the official U.S. policy simply states that people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait recognize there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.
China announced a $3 billion list of USA goods for possible retaliation in a tariff dispute with President Donald Trump and girded Friday for a bigger battle over technology policy as financial markets sank on fears of global disruption.
The stand-off lies in the Trump administration's ire at massive levies and what it considers unfair practices by China that he says are costing American jobs.
China's first-quarter exports to the U.S. rose 14.8 percent from a year earlier, despite a 5.6 percent drop in March.
Indeed, the latest soundbites from Beijing will probably send the White House into fits of exasperation after China's trade figures were announced.
"We hope that the U.S. will listen patiently to rational and pragmatic voices on the trade balance issue".
He reiterated that China does not want a trade war with the US.
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"China's economy entered 2018 at full throttle, undeterred by policy bumps along the way", said Frederic Neumann, cohead of Asian economics research at HSBC Holdings Plc.in Hong Kong.
"If they impose tax on the household appliances, they're going to raise the price and that will affect the citizens of the U.S. in the end", said Chau, the Dongguan factory owner.
The Asian nation said listed US soybeans and pork among its prime targets for proposed retaliatory duties.
The US has not "shown the sincerity needed for negotiations", commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday.
Chinese exporters supply most of the world's mobile phones, personal computers, televisions, toys and other light manufactured goods.
"Just like you said, member of the political bureau Yang Jiechi met the Indian National Security Advisor Doval in Shanghai and also the 11th Joint Economic Group meeting and the 5th Strategic Economic Dialogue were held successfully".
In March, US President Donald Trump had threatened India with retaliatory tariffs if New Delhi did not lower taxes on American products.
"We have liberalized as you know all the business visa regimes for the Chinese investors to come".
Furthermore, the bilateral trade deficit with the USA in fact widened last month, reaching $15.4bn - its highest level in over a year.
"If they're going to propose 25 per cent tax on those things, we have a lot of counter-measures we've got to do to keep ourselves alive", said Chau, whose company, Tien Po International, has run factories in China for more than 30 years.