China's total imports and exports in goods 2012-2022
China’s international trade relations
In 2012, China surpassed the United States to become to the world’s largest trading country in terms of exports and imports of goods. While the United States remained the largest import nation with an import value of around 2.4 trillion U.S. dollars in 2020, China ranked first in global exports with an export value of some 3.36 trillion U.S. dollars in 2021.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, in 2022, the United States was the second most significant export partner of China with a share in total exports of about 16.2 percent. China is also one of the United States’ most potential markets for exports. As of 2022, exports from the United States to China had expanded more than seven-fold since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
The European Union was the second-most important export partner of China as of 2022, after ASEAN. Exports to the EU are dominated by industrial and consumer goods such as machinery and equipment, as well as footwear and clothing. Chinese imports from the EU are mainly machinery and transport equipment, chemical products and miscellaneous articles.
Hong Kong plays a unique role in intermediating and facilitating trade between China and the rest of the world. Mainland Chinese companies sell goods to Hong Kong which re-exports them at marked up prices. Majority of exports from Hong Kong are re-exports.