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Statistics show close US-China trade ties: Chinese senior diplomat

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-06-13 09:47

DES MOINES - It sounds too abstract to say economic and trade cooperation is the most dynamic and lasting driving force for China-US relations, one of the world's most important bilateral ties.

However, Hong Lei, China's Consul General to Chicago, drove his point home by going through intricate, important figures about the bilateral trade relations in a keynote speech at the US-China Think Tank Symposium luncheon held in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday.

Doods trade

Statistics show China-US trade volume has grown from $2.5 billion in 1979 to $524.3 billion in 2016, a rise of 209 times, according to Hong.

China is the United States' largest export market outside North America, and is also one of the fastest growing major export markets of the United States.

In the past 10 years, the average annual growth rate of US exports to China hit 11 percent, higher than not only the 4 percent of average growth rate of US total exports during the same period, but also the 6.6 percent of average growth rate of China's exports to the United States in this period, said the Chinese diplomat.

Since China's accession to the WTO, US exports to China in 2016 has been up 500 percent from 2001, while US global exports during the same period only grew by 90 percent. China has become an important overseas market of many products of the United States, especially bulk agricultural products and high-end finished products.

Hong said in 2016, the United States exported 440 aircraft to China worth of $12.5 billion; 33.66 million tons of soybeans worth of $13.8 billion, many of which are from the state of Iowa; 255,000 automobiles worth of $12.1 billion; $9.7 billion of integrated circuits; and 260,000 tons of cotton worth of $500 million.

Currently, China is the largest export market of American aircraft and soybeans, and the second largest market of American automobiles, integrated circuits and cotton. Among US exports, 62 percent of soybeans, 17 percent of automobiles, 15 percent of integrated circuits, 14 percent of cotton and some 25 percent of Boeing aircraft are sold to China, he said.

Service trade

From 2006 to 2016, the service exports of the United States to China expanded from $14.4 billion to $86.9 billion, a rise of 5 times, Hong said.

In 2016, the US trade surplus with China in services reached $55.7 billion, 40 times the amount of 2006.

As for tourism, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, Chinese tourists spent some $13,000 in the US per person in 2016, far more than the tourists from other countries. In 2016, Chinese tourists spent a total of $35.22 billion in the US, creating about $97 million of revenue for the US per day.

Education

The United States is Chinese students' top destination for studying abroad. According to a report published by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in May 2016, there were some 353,000 Chinese students studying in the US, accounting for 34 percent of the total number of international students in the US, said Hong.

According to the estimates of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, Chinese students studying in the US spent about $45,000 per person in 2016, contributing around $15.9 billion of revenue to the US, he said.

In 2016, the US exported to China 51 movies, obtaining revenue of $16 billion, four times of other countries' movie exports to China combined.

Investment

US-invested enterprises in China have maintained good performance and gained high profits. Sales revenue in 2015 totaled $517 billion, and profit reached $36.2 billion, Hong said.

In 2016, the total revenue of US-funded banks, insurance and security companies was $48 billion; and the total revenue of US-funded accounting firms, law firms and consulting firms exceeded $19 billion, he said.

In 2016, General Motors sold 3.87 million automobiles in China at a rate of one automobile per 8 seconds. Ford Motor sold 1.27 million automobiles at a rate of one automobile per 25 seconds. Both enterprises set new records in sales volumes in China. Through over 2,200 stores in China, McDonald's sells 1,600 hamburgers every minute.

At the meantime, Chinese investment in the US is growing rapidly. According to a report published by the National Committee on United States-China Relations and Rhodium Group, in 2016, Chinese enterprises invested $45.6 billion in the US, a 200 percent increase from the previous record set in 2015.

By the end of 2016, the accumulative total of Chinese foreign direct investment in the US reached around $109 billion, covering such sectors as services, manufacturing, real estate, hospitality, information and communication technology, entertainment and financial services.

Nearly 98 percent (425 of 435) of congressional districts in 46 states hosted Chinese-owned establishments. The total number of Americans employed by Chinese-owned companies exceeded 141,000, and most of them work in the manufacturing sector, Hong said.

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