China Economy

China says it is not top trading nation

Commerce Ministry disputes report the country surpassed the US as the world's biggest trader

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 February, 2013, 4:53am

China has denied reports it passed the United States as the largest trading nation, saying that it still trails when the values of goods imported and exported by both countries are calculated using comparable free-on-board (FOB) prices.

Meanwhile, Beijing said the US was disrupting international trade by slapping sanctions on Chinese firms.

The value of China's goods traded last year lagged the US figure by US$15.6 billion, Xinhua reported yesterday, citing the Ministry of Commerce. The value of US trade in FOB prices was US$3.88 trillion, exceeding China's US$3.87 trillion, it said.

Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing data from the US Commerce Department, that China surpassed the US to become the world's biggest trading nation last year as measured by the sum of exports and imports, ending the dominance of the US in global commerce since 1945.

That balance of payments data from the US wasn't directly comparable to China's FOB-priced data, Xinhua reported.

In a separate report, Xinhua said Shen Danyang, a Ministry of Commerce spokesman, accused the US of disrupting the "normal order of international trade" and harming Chinese companies' interest by imposing sanctions under its non-proliferation laws.

China urged the US to correct its "erroneous practice", Xinhua said.

Poly Technologies, a subsidiary of state-owned Poly Group, voiced its opposition to US rulings on Monday, after sanctions against the firm were announced, Xinhua reported.

The firm rejected accusations it had been involved in business related to banned weapons with nations or regions under UN sanctions, Xinhua said.