US-China trade hits record high despite rising tensions

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Workers astatine  a larboard  successful  Qingdao, successful  China's eastbound   Shandong province.Image source, Getty Images

Trade betwixt the US and China deed a grounds precocious past twelvemonth adjacent arsenic their diplomatic relations scope caller lows.

Imports and exports betwixt the 2 countries totalled $690.6bn (£572.6bn) successful 2022, official figures show.

Tensions roseate betwixt Washington and Beijing successful caller days aft a Chinese balloon travelled crossed the US.

The world's 2 biggest economies person been locked successful a bitter commercialized warfare since 2018 erstwhile then-President Donald Trump started imposing tariffs connected China.

The caller figures amusement that US imports from China accrued to $536.8bn past twelvemonth arsenic American shoppers spent much connected Chinese-made goods, including toys and mobile phones. In the aforesaid period, US exports to China accrued to $153.8bn.

While immoderate of the summation successful commercialized betwixt the 2 countries is simply a effect of the rising outgo of living, the figures besides constituent to however reliant the US and China inactive are connected each different adjacent aft years of commercialized struggle betwixt them.

"I deliberation it's an important denotation of the difficulties of really decoupling," Deborah Elms, the laminitis of Asian Trade Centre, told the BBC.

"Even if governments, firms and consumers wanted to separate, the economics marque it hard to present products successful a decoupled satellite astatine a terms that firms and consumers are consenting to pay," she added.

In 2018, the Trump medication started to ramp up commercialized measures against Beijing.

After decades of rising Chinese imports, Mr Trump began imposing tariffs connected a full of much than $300bn worthy of Chinese goods. China deed backmost by placing import levies connected astir $100bn of American goods.

Most of those measures stay successful spot much than 2 years aft Joe Biden became president.

This month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had been owed to sojourn China successful what was seen arsenic a thawing of relations betwixt the 2 country's.

America's apical diplomat was acceptable to sojourn Beijing from 5 to 6 February to clasp talks connected a wide scope of issues, including security, Taiwan and Covid-19.

However, the travel was abruptly postponed aft the find of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that drifted crossed America.

Chinese officials person repeatedly said that the "airship is for civilian usage and entered the US owed to unit majeure - it was wholly an accident".

In his State of the Union code connected Tuesday, US President Joe Biden made nary nonstop notation of the Chinese balloon but said that his medication volition ever support its sovereignty.

"I americium committed to enactment with China wherever it tin beforehand American interests and payment the world. But marque nary mistake: arsenic we made wide past week, if China's threatens our sovereignty, we volition enactment to support our country. And we did," helium said.

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Media caption,

Video appears to amusement China balloon changeable down

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