Bilateral trade between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China in the first five months of this year hit 181.75 billion USD, up 1.2 percent compared with the same period last year, according to Malaysia's news agency, Bernama.

In the January-May period, China's exports to ASEAN reached 101 billion USD, an increase of 4.1 percent over the same period last year, while China's imports from the group, however, declined by 2.2 percent year-on-year to over 80 billion USD.

Two-way trade between Malaysia and China dropped 10.5 percent year-on-year to almost 22 billion USD, while bilateral trade between China and Singapore fell by 3.2 percent to nearly 13 billion USD during the period.

The China-Vietnam and China-Philippines two-way trade rose 19.9 percent to more than 7 billion USD and 7.3 percent to 7.4 billion USD, respectively during the same period despite the escalating tensions among the three countries in the East Sea.

China continued to be ASEAN's largest trading partner since 2009, while the regional grouping was the third-largest trade partner for China.

Last year, two-way trade between ASEAN and China reached 443.6 billion USD, up 10.9 percent year-on-year.-VNA