The data points to continued resilience in the world's second-largest economy even as its export outlook is being clouded by escalating tensions with the United States, its largest trading partner.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected gross domestic product (GDP) to expand 6.7 percent in the January-March quarter, slowing only marginally from 6.8 percent growth in the previous two quarters.
Growth remained comfortably above the government's target of around 6.5 percent for the full year, which could give policymakers more confidence to step up efforts to reduce risks in the financial system and clean up the environment.
Analysts had expected growth of 1.5 percent on a quarterly basis.
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