"The Chinese government also said the growth in the final quarter of 2009 accelerated by 10.7% from 2008.
But analysts say currency fluctuations make it difficult to compare China and Japan, and some experts question the accuracy of China's figures.
Japan announces its latest GDP figures next month.
Its economy is likely to have contracted by around 6% in 2009.
The announcement was made by China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The figures have exceeded the targets set by the Chinese government, the BBC's Chris Hogg in Shanghai says.
A government spokesman said China has recovered from the global downturn and was moving in the right direction.
China was hit by the world economic crisis during late 2008 and early 2009, but not as badly as other countries.
It recovered with the help of a massive government stimulus package."