China’s trade surplus expected to have grown despite slowest growth since 1992

Chinese trade statistics for the month of October will be released today, likely confirming initial forecasts that the country’s trade

china trade data

Photo: Akira Kodaka

Chinese trade statistics for the month of October will be released today, likely confirming initial forecasts that the country’s trade surplus widened to $40.83 billion.

The figure underscores how China is attempting to negate the impact of its trade war with the US by increasing trade with the rest of the world.

Amid its worst economic growth since 1992, China is driving to cast its economy in a new light internationally, most notably by hosting the second China International Import Expo this week. The forum produced some $57.8 billion worth of trade deals last year and comes at a critical moment for Beijing, which has been painted recently as desperate to cut a deal with the US.

While critics argue that the Expo is mostly symbolic, a successful forum could see new agreements with countries such as France and Russia, thus taking pressure off China to rush to a deal with Washington. Should this week’s summit match the success of last year’s, Beijing could leverage its improved circumstances to avoid offering meaningful concessions – including the establishment of US enforcement mechanisms in China to settle disputes – to Washington as part of a trade deal.

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