The pace of China’s growth as a major global trading economy over the past 30 years is almost unprecedented in economic history.
Countries have grown at a similarly rapid pace before, but they have never made up such a large portion of the global economy.
A research note from Deutsche Bank analysts this week explains how the “gravity” of global trade has tipped towards China over just a 10-year period.
Instead of using just exports and imports measured by China’s Customs Office, the note also excluded processing trade — for example, parts of a computer that are exported to China, used in manufacturing and then re-exported. That way, the map only shows what the final demand is — imports from the rest of the world that are consumed in China.
They have mapped out which countries lean towards the US in terms of their exports, and which lean towards China, in both 2005 and 2015.
Here they are:
By 2014, China not only has a foothold in the Americas, but imports more from Brazil than the US does. Exports from Africa to China now clearly outstrip those to the US, and there’s a bright red streak running from Kazakhstan to Yemen.
Much of Europe, which leaned clearly towards the US in 2005, now looks much more balanced.
It’s an astonishing shift, described by the note’s authors:
There are visible colour changes on all continents, except North and Central America, and the contrast is striking: while the 2014 map shows a rough geographic balance between the blue (countries that rely more on the US) and the red (those relying more on China), blue was clearly the dominant colour back in 2005.
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