What are China's Major Imports and Exports?

Written by jason chavis
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China is one of the world's largest economies and the fastest growing market in the world. It operates a major system of imports and exports, proving to be a success by maintaining a cumulative deficit free trading relationship with the world. Manufacturing has become the prime component in China's success, while its need for natural resources grows. Problems, however, have tainted this growth, as the pace of expansion has outreached some of its own checks and balances.


As the second largest economy in the world, China is responsible for much of the world's production of material goods. Its Gross Domestic Product totals more than £4.5 trillion, with an annual growth rate of almost 10 per cent.

China has used its massive labour force to undercut the costs of production compared to other countries, while still maintaining a market share of the revenue for its manufacturing and industrial creation. The fact that China now supplies most of the world with a substantial portion of their imports, helps maintain the country's position as an economic superpower.


China exports £0.8 trillion worth of product each year to a variety of industrialised countries. It also utilises its influence to establish manufacturing outposts in a variety of developing countries, notably those in Africa and Southeast Asia.

China leads the world in office products and data processing equipment, producing £87 billion worth of materials annually. Nearly the same figure, £80 billion, is earned from telecommunications equipment exported worldwide.

Apparel and clothing make up a lion share of the country's revenue as well, with £61 billion worth of product, most being sent to industrialised countries at vastly discounted rates compared to other manufacturers. China also leads the world in electronics and nuanced items, such as toys and plastics.


Operating on the concept of maintaining a deficit-free economy has allowed China to become a strong competitor in the global financial market. It offsets its exports by importing only £620 billion worth of product.

The vast majority of China's imports have to do with manufacturing, enabling the country to maintain its surplus in exports. Petroleum and other fossil fuels attribute to the majority of their imported goods. While, iron ore and scrap metal has become a major factor in China's continued modernisation. Lacking production of scientific and medical products has developed into a major need for the importation of such devices, most coming from developed nations in the West.


China has become the major distributor of goods in the United States, supplying the country with over 20 per cent of its manufactured goods. The U.S. is currently trading at a 14-point deficit with the economic giant, while China itself is trading at a deficit with other Asian countries.

It receives nearly 15 per cent of its imports from China, 11 per cent fro South Korea, and 10 per cent from Taiwan, all countries with which it maintains a strained military relationship. This creates a problem for China as it expands its world influence. It risks alienating many of its trading partners as it vies for economic dominance in a global market.


China began its global rise after the economic reforms of 1978 were unveiled. Traditionally, the country maintained a strong agricultural society, only moving into major industry after the communist takeover. However, China's development was kept in check by social reforms and an anti-capitalist policy that stifled growth.

In 1978, the government opened its borders to more global trade and placed emphasis on establishing a system of businesses in the form of Western capitalism. This allowed large industries to flourish, but has also created income inequality between urban and rural citizens.

China's fast growth has caused corruption and bureaucratic challenges for the government. Many goods that have been exported around the world, have been found to be tainted with lead or melamine due to light regulations on procedures within Chinese factories. Accountability has been fierce, however, as China attempts to grapple with the situation in an act of self-preservation.

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