May 30, 2024

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Image credit: China Briefing

Despite escalating tensions, US-China commerce has reached records

Even if their diplomatic relationships weakened last year, trade between the United States and China reached a historic high.

According to official data, trade between the two nations was $690.6 billion (£572.6 billion) in 2022. After a Chinese balloon crossed the US border, ties between the nations recently reached a new low. Beijing disputes US allegations that it was used for espionage.

The two largest powers on the globe have also been involved in a trade dispute since 2018.

According to the most recent data, American imports from China grew to $536.8 billion last year as American consumers increased their purchases of Chinese-made products like toys and cell phones. US exports to China climbed to $153.8 billion during the same time period.

Despite years of trade tension, the data show how dependent the United States and China still are on one another, even though some of the rise in commerce between the two nations is due to the increasing cost of living.

Asian Trade Center founder Deborah Elms remarked, “I think that’s an interesting indication of the difficulty of genuinely decoupling.”

The Trump administration began stepping up financial sanctions against Beijing in 2018. Mr. Trump started putting duties on a total of more than $300 billion worth of Chinese goods after years of growing Chinese imports. China retaliated by imposing import taxes on nearly $100 billion worth of American products.

More than two years after Joe Biden was elected president, the majority of those policies are still in effect.

In what was perceived as a softening of ties between the two countries, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had been scheduled to travel to China this month.

On February 5 and 6, the senior American ambassador was scheduled to travel to Beijing for talks on a variety of topics, including defense, Taiwan, and COVID-19.

The journey was immediately put on hold, though, when a rumoured Chinese spy aircraft was seen drifting across America.

The “balloon is for human use and reached the United States due to forceful circumstances—it was absolutely an accident,” Chinese authorities have consistently stated.

The Chinese aircraft were not specifically mentioned by US President Joe Biden in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, but he pledged that his government will always uphold China’s sovereignty.