Trade has been growing rapidly during the reform period. In 1952 exports and imports were each running at a miserable US$1 billion. By 1970 they were just over double that, though world trade had expanded many times since 1952. The limited opening up that occurred in the late Mao period brought exports and imports each to about US$7.5billion, only slightly better. Then under Deng Xiaoping, two-way trade shot up: from less than US$15billion in 1975, it grew to $38billion in 1980, nearly $70billion in 1985, and $115billion by 1990. The rapid growth continued in the 1990s, especially after Deng's southern tour in January 1992, and by 1999 two-way trade was worth US$360bn. Imports were balanced with exports when the two were too small to be worth worrying about, then in the 1980s imports exceed exports, and in most years in the 1990s there was a substantial trade surplus.
China's foreign trade figures were US $1150 billion in 2004, more than double that of 2001. At the end of 2004, China became the world's third largest trading nation behind the United States and Germany.
China’s trade surplus has been positive over many years. In 2005, her exports were valued at $762.0 billion and imports at $ 660.12 billion, giving a BOT surplus of US$ 102. China's principal trading partners are US, Japan, Germany, Singapore, South Korea, Russia, and Australia. With the US, China had a trade surplus of $170 billion in 2004, more than double of the 1999 figure. China has become an integral part of the world’s trading system. ...Show more