China dominates world export markets despite US trade war

China dominates world export markets despite US trade war

Asian countries’ supply chain dependence deepens, with RCEP set to boost trend

TOKYO/BEIJING — The extent of the global economy’s dependence on China is becoming clear.

With the coronavirus pandemic disrupting global logistics, there has been growing momentum to reduce dependence on China in supply chains. But China’s share of global exports is actually rising, and is now even exceeding the level before the Sino-U.S. trade war broke out in 2018. Some believe that the recently agreed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free trade agreement between 15 countries in Asia and Oceania, will boost China’s presence in global trade yet further.

The number of products of which China holds a high share in export markets is increasing.

Nikkei analyzed data on 3,800 products compiled by the International Trade Center and found that there were 320 products in 2019 in which China held a share of more than 50% in export markets. By comparison, in 2001, when China joined the World Trade Organization, the number was 61 products.

The number of products of which China had a high share stopped increasing from 2016 onwards, when U.S. President Donald Trump took office and then the trade war began, but the number increased again last year.