China exports soar, but trade war may be nigh

09:32 | 09/03/2018 Cooperation

China's outbound shipments have increased at the fastest pace in three years. With imports also on the rise, the world's second-largest economy remains resilient even as trade relations with the US rapidly deteriorate.

China's exports in February surged by a staggering 44.5 percent year on year, official data showed Thursday.

Outbound shipments amounted to US$171.6 billion (€138.3 billion), while imports reached US$137.9 billion in February, marking a 6.3-percent rise on the year.

"The broad-based recovery in China's main markets could partly explain why exports were still quite strong," ANZ Hong Kong Chief Economist Betty Wang told Reuters, adding that tensions with the US were "definitely a near-term concern and a near-term downside risk to China's trade outlook."

Limited impact expected

US President Donald Trump is planning high tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, drawing criticism from Beijing. The measures are expected to go into effect in about two weeks.

But economists see little immediate impact on the world's second-biggest economy. China has already reduced steel exports to the US to a trickle in response to stronger demand at home.

Nonetheless, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday a trade war with the US "is never the right solution," adding that China would counteract with "the necessary and justified response."

Theo Dw