China Overtakes the U.S. as EU’s Largest Trade Partner
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China Displaces U.S. as the EU’s Largest Trade Partner

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The Briefing

  • In a pandemic year, the U.S. has lost out as the EU’s top trading partner
  • The EU trade relationship with China has grown towards €586B ($709B) in 2020, compared to €554B ($671B) with the U.S.

How China Became the Largest EU Trade Partner

Historically, America has long been the EU’s top country to trade with, but in 2020, that trend came to a screeching halt.

A $26.7 billion boost for Chinese imports, in addition to a $5.3 billion increase in EU exports, has resulted in China officially becoming the EU’s largest trade partner.

This data looks at a decade of growing trade between the EU and China.

YearImports from China ($B)Exports to China ($B)Total Trade Value ($B)
2020463.9245.1709.1
2019437.1239.9677.2
2018477.5253.9731.6
2017454.2239.0693.3
2016426.2205.3631.6
2015424.2206.0630.3
2014366.0199.2565.3
2013338.8179.3518.1
2012352.8174.2527.1
2011356.7165.0521.8
2010343.1137.2480.4

Playing Catch Up

Displacing the U.S. as a trade partner serves as yet another reminder that China is playing catch up to America’s economy. In 2020, there was an approximate $5.6 trillion gap in nominal GDP between the two nations. A decade ago, the gap was larger at $9 trillion.

The gap continues to shrink due to the differing growth rates in GDP. Between 2010-2020, U.S. nominal GDP growth was in the 1-2% range. During the same time, China’s GDP growth ranged from a high of 10.6% to a low of 6.1%.

An Economic Love Story

If you’re counting on China to run out of stuff to sell, don’t hold your breath. China is a manufacturing titan, and has become a top trading partner of 128 countries. EU imports from China grew 35% in the last decade, and overall imports were worth around $463 billion in 2020.

The EU buys much more from China than what it sells. Exports valued at $245 billion make up just over half (52%) of what it imports. As a result, the EU has a ballooning trade deficit.

Past Rivals

Challenging the U.S. for the economic throne is hardly a new endeavor. In the post-WWII era, Japan experienced a similar economic trajectory. And at the time, concerns about Japan surpassing America were alive and well. At one point, Japanese equities collectively represented some 46% of global stock market capitalization, and the value of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo was notionally worth more than all the real estate in California.

But eventually things began to subside, and a new challenger in China emerged. Today, China is experiencing similar milestones that hint at a growing economic power. Such as Beijing becoming the top city for global billionaires.

Will the 21st century mimic the 20th? Or will we witness the U.S. fall from the top of the economic food chain?

Where does this data come from?

Source: Statista
Notes: Data published on April 1, 2021

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Datastream

Charted: The Ukraine War Civilian Death Toll

Using data from the UN, this chart shows civilian death toll figures resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Ukraine war death toll

The Briefing

  • In total, since the war began in February there have been over 7,031 Ukrainian civilian deaths
  • Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons, such as missiles and heavy artillery

Charted: The Ukraine War Civilian Death Toll

Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine has wrought suffering and death on a mass scale, with many Russian attacks targeted at civilians.

We’ve created this visual using data from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to better understand how many civilians have died in Ukraine as a result of the war, as well as how many were injured and how many were children.

The Numbers

As of early December, it is reported that 7,031 people in Ukraine have died because of the war — 433 of them children. Another 11,327 have been injured, 827 of which are children. In total, this is over 18,000 people killed or injured.

The figures are difficult to verify due to differing reports coming out of both Russia and Ukraine. The UN OHCHR anticipates that the numbers could be even higher.

The State of the Conflict

The war began on February 24th, 2022 and less than a year in, millions of people have been displaced by the conflict, and thousands of civilians have been injured or killed.

According to the UN, most of the civilian deaths have been caused by wide-ranging explosives such as heavy artillery shelling, missiles, and air strikes, and have been concentrated in Donetsk and Luhansk and in other territory still held by Ukraine.

Additionally, new estimates from Kyiv report approximately 13,000 Ukrainian military or soldier deaths, which has yet to be confirmed by the army.

Where does this data come from?

Source: The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights monthly reports on civilian deaths in Ukraine.

Note: Data on deaths and injuries can vary wildly depending on the source.

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