On a percentage basis, the August trade surplus was up 8.4 percent from the same month of last year, the General Administration of Customs reported.
August exports totaled $190.61 billion, credited to a steady yuan and state policies. Imports for the month also rose 7 percent to $162.09 billion.
China total foreign trade for August grew 7.1 percent year-on-year to $352.7 billion.
China has set a target of 8 percent growth in foreign trade this year.
Region-wise, total trade with the European Union, China's largest trade partner, rose 3.2 percent in August, while trade with the United States rose 9.2 percent.
Zhang Liqun, a researcher at the Cabinet's Development Research Center, attributed the August improvement in exports to a stable yuan and government policies, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
"The 7.2 percent growth rate indicates a clear recovery of exports," Zhang said.
In a further sign of China's economy coming out its slowdown, its manufacturing sector staged a strong recovery last month.
Last month, the governor of China's central bank said the country's economic growth momentum remains robust and consecutive drops in the gross domestic product rates are unlikely. The GDP growth rate fell to 7.5 percent in the second quarter from 7.7 percent in the prior quarter, raising concerns about the country's slowing economy, the world's second-largest after the United States.
But the governor said a GDP growth rate of 7.5 percent is a normal level, and that no major changes are needed in the bank's monetary policy.