China Rising: The Red Dragon Surpasses America as Dominant Exporter

An image has been circulating around Twitter showing an infographic of China’s exports dominance over the course of nearly 20 years. This image came from an article by Liz Faunce in the Financial Times.

One image, representing a map of the U.S’s and China’s spheres of influences, had the U.S. as the dominant exporter in 2000.  With few exceptions, the U.S. dominated export markets in every region of the globe.

But when China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, the entire game changed.

China is now the principal exporter on the world stage, with it dominating every continent with the exception of North America. Interestingly, South America, with exceptions of Ecuador and Colombia, are dominated by Chinese exports.

“It is clear that China has benefited from its belonging to the WTO, a process that started in the 1990s when Bill Clinton paved the way for it,” declared Thomas Costerg, senior economist at Pictet Wealth Management. Costerg’s team gathered the figures based on the IMF’s Direction of Trade Statistics database.

Costerg added, “They became a member in 2001 and China has become this massive manufacturing and export powerhouse over the past 20 years.” However, there is reason to believe that China’s trade dominance may not last for so long.

Costerg claims that China may face more competition for low value goods from countries such as Vietnam and textile exporters from South Asia. This serves as a reminder of the growing influence of China on the world stage.

While D.C. decided to launch never-ending wars in the Middle East, China used soft power through its trade agreements and economic clout to carve out massive spheres of influence across the globe.

With the election of Donald Trump, who ran on a platform that stressed equal terms of trade with China, now many are waking up to the malignant nature of the Chinese state.

Given its history of authoritarianism, China as a unipolar power could prove to be dangerous for freedom at the international level.

These next few decades will be critical in determining what China’s role on the international stage will be.

If U.S. policymakers are not careful, the 21st century will be Chinese, which does not bode well for human freedom.