China is the world's second largest economy in the world, second only to the United States. When rating the importance of China's products, consideration has to be given to its major exports that allow the country to maintain a deficit-free economy. In 2009, China's exported more than $1.2 billion worth of products, creating a nearly $200 billion trade surplus, according to the US-China Business Council.
Electrical equipment has become the most important export and import in China, accounting for more than $540 billion of the economic pie, according to the US-China Business Council. Products categorized as electrical equipment include all aspects of computer manufacturing, from processors and motherboards to the machinery used to make them. Other top electrical products from China are transistors, batteries, office equipment, cable and wire, televisions and semiconductors.
"China is second only to the U.S. in total primary energy consumption," according to a 2010 renewable energy study by the National Foreign Trade Council. China's massive need for energy necessitates the need for energy producing equipment. While China's consumption of coal--70 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration--has made it the worst emitter of carbon dioxide, it has also become one of the world's leaders in renewable energy. China exports mainly generators and other coal and gas fueled energy products, and imports most of its hydro, solar and wind equipment. But the National Foreign Trade Council 2010 report says China has initiated many aggressive pro-renewable energy programs in the last decade.
One of the most obvious of China's products is textiles, which includes apparel and shoes. Inexpensive material and labor have allowed China to dominate the world market in textiles, with nearly $130 billion worth of products having left China in 2009, according to the US-China Business Council.
China produces much of the world's furniture, including the machinery to manufacture it. China's vast wood resources, cheap labor, government support and low exportation tariffs have created an environment for a ten-fold increase, from 1996 to 2006, in Chinese furniture manufacturing, according to an A.G. Raymond and Company report.
Medical equipment is one product where China imports more than it exports. But this trend will soon change as China advances its medical equipment development infrastructure. Major Chinese medical products include laboratory equipment, medical communications technologies, medical garments and furniture related to the medical industry.
While China lags behind Japan and the U.S. in vehicle production, it has become one of the world's leading producers of ships and shipping equipment, with nearly $30 billion worth of shipping exports, according to the US-China Business Council.
- US-China Business Council
- China's Promotion of the Renewable Electrical Power Equipment Industry - National Foregin Trade Council
- U.S. Energy Information Administration - China Report
- McKinsey Global Institute. "China and the World," Pages 1-2. Accessed Oct. 16, 2020.
- The World Bank. "Exports of Goods and Services (Current US$)." Accessed Oct. 16, 2020.
- Trading Economics. "China GDP Growth Rate." Accessed Oct. 17, 2020.
- Trading Economics. "China Exports." Accessed Oct. 17, 2020.
- Forbes. "China’s Exports Finally Moving Beyond Coronavirus Supplies." Accessed Oct. 17, 2020.
- Pew Research Center. "Unfavorable Views of China Reach Historic Highs in Many Countries." Accessed Oct. 17, 2020.
- The European Commission. "China Trade." Accessed Oct. 17, 2020.
Richard Ludwig has been a writer for over eight years and has had his work published in "Co-Ed Magazine," the "East Manatee County Observer" and the Disaster and Recovery e-magazine. He received journalism and sociology degrees from the University of South Florida.