China’s customs data showed that China’s trade with ASEAN rose 4.2 percent year-on-year to 291.85 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of the year. The 10-member ASEAN became China’s second-largest trading partner in the first half of 2019, overtaking the United States for the first time since 1997. China has been ASEAN’s largest trading partner for nine consecutive years.
Among the trade volume,to ASEAN countries reached 164.52 billion U.S. dollars and import 127.3 U.S. dollars.
China would enlarge import from the regional bloc’s member countries, according to the spokesperson of China’s ministry of trade recently. China has become a huge market for many ASEAN countries. For example, the planting of durians has been picking up steam across Malaysia in recent years owing to increasing demand from China. In 2018, China become the biggest foreign market of Philippine bananas, buying a total of 1.165 million tons. Over the past two years, China has also become the largest Cambodian rice importer with other agricultural products.
With the background of China-US trade disputes, China will pay more importance to promoting China-ASEAN trade growth. The two sides targeted at a 1 trillion U.S. dollars trade volume in 2020.
Growing economic relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), plus with the stabilized situation of the South China Sea, are crucial to securing long-term peace and shared prosperity in the region.