China's trade policies were thrust into the spotlight this year following frictions with the U.S. which led to a trade war that has yet to relent.
How did China become a leading trade power? The country's reform and opening-up and World Trade Organization (WTO) accession played key roles in boosting trade ties between China and other countries and upgrading its industrial structure.
In 1978, China's goods trade volume was 21.1 billion U.S. dollars, ranking 26th in the world.
The same year, the country took the first step to join the global trading system with the launch of the reform and opening-up policy. China soon became the "world's factory," supplying everything from raw materials to kitchenware.
The second major turning point came in 2001 when China joined the WTO.
Soon China became one of the world's top three trading powers in terms of trade volume with an improved industrial structure – exports evolved from cheap textiles to high-end electronics.
With growing income, hard-working Chinese people became big spenders at home and abroad, and the country's import revenue grew 165-fold from 1978 to 2017.
Now, with all major economies among its biggest trading partners, China has become an integral part of the global trading system, benefiting a wide range of partners in the global supply chain.