Trade growth between both the US and China and between the EU and China is larger than between the US and EU. Comparing the latest available data, for November 2011, with the last quarter of 2007, before the financial crisis, US exports to the EU increased by an annualized $12 billion and EU export to the US increased by an annualized $7 billion. But US exports to China increased by an annualized $49 billion, while EU exports to China increased by an annualized $83 billion. US exports to China therefore grew four times as much as exports to the EU, and EU exports to China grew by almost 12 times as much as exports to the US. This data also shows the EU gained more from increased exports to China than the US – EU exports to China increased by an annualized $34 billion more than US exports to China.
Good relations between Europe and China are evidently capable of generating great mutual benefits. China is a huge market for technologically advanced and high-value exports from the EU, as Germany’s export success shows, which improves China’s industry, while the EU also gains from China’s continued support for the euro.
The change in the perception of China in Europe is therefore not just a success in China’s diplomacy but has real foundations. As it is strongly in the interests of both sides, it has potential to further advance.