China leaves behind the US as world’s leading trade partner

This picture taken on November 7, 2012 shows a ship berthed ahead of its cargo of containers being unloaded at the port of Qingdao in northeast China’s Shandong province.(AFP Photo / China Out)

In just five years, China surpassed the US as leading a trading partner in the world. With 124 countries considering China their largest trading partner and only 76 having that relationship with the US, the Asian country’s influence is on the rise.

In 2006, the US was the larger trading partner for 127 countries, while China dominated among 70. In 2011, the numbers reversed, with China dominating trade among 124 countries and the US being the top trade partner for only 76, the Associated Press reported. Some US allies even consider China their top trading partner, including Australia and South Korea.

The AP findings demonstrate China’s rapid ascent as a trade partner. As a result of its international relationships, the world’s most populous country is becoming more politically influential – and its rise won’t be ending anytime soon. China’s world output is forecasted to grow up to 8 percent a year over the next decade – a rate that surpasses all Western levels.

Trade with China was on average 12.4 percent of GDP for other countries – a rate that is higher than trade with the US has been in the past 30 years. Trade with China was only 3 percent of a country’s GDP in 2002, which demonstrates the surge that occurred in the last decade.

With rising trade influence, China is likely to also generate jobs, raise living standards and gain political power.

“The United States is a tiger with no power. Nobody can deny that China is the one now rising,” said Shin Cheol-soo, a South Korean businessman at the ENA Industry Co.

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