China's foreign trade up 28.2% in first five months

China’s foreign trade maintained its upward momentum in the first five months of the year. The country’s total imports and exports expanded by 28.2% year-on-year to reach CNY14.76 trillion during the period, the General Administration of Customs said. It marks an increase of 21.6% from the same period in 2019. Exports jumped by 30.1% from a year earlier, while imports climbed by 25.9% in yuan terms. Exports and imports in?creased by 23.6% and 19.2%, respectively, compared with the first five months of 2019. During the January to May period, the trade surplus increased by 56.2% year-on-year to CNY1.32 trillion.

Private enterprises' foreign trade expanded by 38.1% to CNY7.02 trillion, accounting for 47.6% of China’s total imports and exports. In the first five months, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) remained China’s largest trading partner, followed by the European Union and the United States. The growth rates of China’s trade value with the three trading partners stood at 29.2%, 28.7%, and 41.3% respectively. China’s trade with countries along the Belt and Road rose by 27.4%, year-on-year, to reach CNY4.36 trillion, the Shanghai Daily reports.

China-U.S. bilateral trade increased by 52.3% in dollar terms in the first five months to USD279.64 billion, the fastest among all China's major trade partners. The figure indicates that no matter how Washington tries to provoke ideological or geopolitical conflict with China, it cannot stop mutually beneficial trade relations, the Global Times reports. Chinese exports to the U.S. expanded 49.8% and imports jumped 59.8%, though the growth rates were slower compared with the January to April period. According to Tian Yun, former Vice Director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association, the trade volume between China and the U.S. in the first five months was “astonishing.” “Based on the growth, bilateral trade may hit CNY4 trillion or USD600 billion for the whole year. That is to say, the China-U.S. trade value in 2021 is very likely to surpass the record high of 2018 and reach USD640 billion to USD650 billion,” Tian told the Global Times.

China's trade surplus with the U.S. stood at USD132.46 billion in the first five months, compared with USD100.68 billion in the January-April period. The Global Times described the situation as “political coldness but economic heat”. The Biden administration is conducting a review of the country's trade policy with China, ahead of the expiry of the phase one trade deal at the end of 2021. “There are parts of this trade relationship that are unhealthy and have over time been damaging in some very important ways to the US economy,” U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in response to a question about whether the U.S. would continue with the phase one trade deal and maintain tariffs on Chinese goods.