China Trade, Imports and Exports

As part of China's continuing effort to become competitive in the global marketplace, China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. China's entry into the WTO has benefited coastal cities, especially in the southeast. Although a British crown colony until its return to Chinese control in 1997, Hong Kong has long been a major maritime outlet of South China.

China Exports

In 2010, China exports totaled $1.194 trillion, down from $1.429 trillion in 2008. It’s main exports are electrical goods and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, textiles, iron and steel, optical and medical equipment;

China's main export partners are US (17.7%), Hong Kong (13.3%), Japan (8.1%), South Korea (5.2%) and Germany (4.1%)

China Imports

In 2010, China imports totaled $921.5 billion, down from $1.131 trillion in 2008. It’s main imports are electrical components and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels, optical and medical equipment, metal ores, plastics and organic chemicals;

China's main import partners are Japan (13.3%), South Korea (9.9%), US (7.2%) and Germany (4.9%).

Challenges Facing China

In the early 21st century, China faced the challenge of balancing its highly centralized political system with an increasingly decentralized economic system.

Also, China's economy, though strengthened by liberal economic policies of the 1980s and 90s, continues to suffer from inadequate transportation, communication, and energy resources. However, since the 1980s, China has undertaken a major highway construction program and China is working hard on building world-class infrastructure.

China's poor human development index highlights the economic disparity between urban China and the rural hinterlands. Human rights campaigners continue to criticize China for executing hundreds of people every year and for failing to stop torture.

Other critical problems include corruption, which affects every level of society, and the growing rate of HIV infection. Tensions between a highly centralized political - and an increasingly de-centralized economic system is also a cause of tension.

Another long term threat to China's continued economic growth is the deterioration in the environment, notably air pollution, soil erosion and the steady fall of its water table in the north.