US becomes the largest buyer of Chinese exports
The United States surpassed the European Union in the first 11 months of 2012 to become the largest buyer of Chinese exports, according to data released by the Commerce Ministry on Tuesday.
The value of US trade with China increased by 8.2 percent year-on-year to reach $438.62 billion, according to the ministry.
At the same time, China's exports to the US increased by 8.2 percent to $319.4 billion, and its imports from the US went up by 8.1 percent to $119.2 billion.
China's trade surplus with the US has also increased in the year, going from $148.3 billion in the first nine months to $200.3 billion in the first 11 months.
The EU, for its part, saw its trade with China decline.
In the first 11 months of the year, its trade with China decreased by 4.1 percent year-on-year, and its imports from China dropped to $302.3 billion.
Japan's trade with China also dropped by 2.9 percent year-on-year during the period.
Even so, China's total foreign trade was up in the first 11 months of the year, increasing by 5.8 percent to $3.5 trillion, although that rate of increase was far below the goal of 10 percent set at the beginning of the year.
And trade with the US has not been as vigorous in recent months as it was earlier in the year.
The past two months have seen it slow below the 9.1 percent year-on-year rate of increase it showed in the first nine months.
Zhou Shijian, a senior trade expert at Tsinghua University, blamed the slower trade on the US' sluggish economic recovery.