China's imports in numbers: Goods and services in the past decade
By Zhao Hong, Liu Wenbo, Du Chenxin
China's imports of both goods and services have maintained steady growth over the last decade, despite some minor fluctuations in the goods sector.
The graph below shows the import of goods to China from 2008 to 2017, with a fairly steady increase in imports over the last decade, except in 2009. That year, the global financial crisis pushed goods imports down by around 11 percent, before growth recovered in 2010.
In 2013, China surpassed the United States as the world's largest trader of goods.
In 2017, China imported goods worth approximately 1.84 trillion US dollars, representing year-on-year growth of 16 percent, reversing a declining trend seen in the previous two years.
In April 2018, the annual global trade report released by the World Trade Organization showed that China exported more goods than anywhere else, accounting for 12.8 percent of the global share, while China's goods imports ranked second in the world behind the US.
Over the past decade, China has witnessed its import of services rise constantly due to a booming economy and flourishing market conditions, shooting up from 159 billion US dollars in 2008 all the way to 468 billion US dollars in 2017, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
Although China's service trade has grown at a faster rate, it still represents a lower proportion of foreign trade when compared to trade in goods. The Commerce Ministry estimated that by 2020, the total imports and exports of China's services will exceed 1 trillion US dollars, with the proportion of services in foreign trade further increasing. Trade in services has become a new engine for the development of foreign trade.