AP series to document global shift in China’s trading clout

Nov. 28, 2012
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In this Nov. 27, 2012, photo, a customer checks bottles of imported wine at a supermarket in Beijing, China. Rising incomes have driven demand for wine and other luxury goods, making China a lifeline for European and American vineyards when the global crisis battered traditional markets. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
“China's Reach,” a multimedia series by The Associated Press that will use trade data to document the country’s growing, global economic impact and how it’s been changing over time, will debut Monday, Dec. 3.
In just five years, China has surpassed the United States as a trading partner for much of the world, according to an AP analysis of trade data that will launch the four-part series. Five years ago, twice as many countries traded more with the U.S. than China, a trend that had reversed itself by last year.

The series will report how this global shift, the most abrupt of its kind since World War II, is changing the way people live and do business from Africa to Arizona, and how quickly China has ascended to challenge America's century-old status as the world’s dominant trader. China’s impact has been spreading from neighboring Asia to Africa – and is now being seen in Latin America, the traditional backyard of the U.S.

“More than a dozen AP journalists on six continents analyzed extensive data that starkly demonstrate China’s race to the top of world commerce,” said John Daniszewski, vice president and senior managing editor for international news. “With a new cadre of leaders now assuming power in Beijing, these stories, photos and interactive graphics provide a baseline understanding of the economic changes and challenges the world  is likely to face as a result of this country’s phenomenal growth.”

The other stories in “China’s Reach” are as follows:

  • Dateline: Tsogttsetsii, Mongolia. When it comes to China, Mongolia will only go so far and no further. In the world's rush to get rich off China, Mongolia works mightily to ensure that Chinese investment does not become Chinese dominance. It's a balancing act shared by many countries, especially on China's periphery. Mongolia, though, stands out for its vulnerability and determined deflection of Beijing's embrace. Set for release on Dec. 6.

  • China's emergence as a global trading power may transform countries in ways never before contemplated and not yet fully understood. One example: Soaring coal prices fueled by China's economic growth have made mining parts of the Australian landscape far more lucrative than farming it. This piece will present a striking analysis of China's trade with other countries as a percentage of their gross domestic product. Set for release on Dec. 10.

  • Heritage for sale: Crushing grapes in France and milking cows in New Zealand are traditions that cut to the core of cultural identity. So when outsiders pay substantially above market rates to buy such assets, it often awakens deep feelings of unease. Such sentiments have long been directed at Americans and Japanese. Now it's China's turn, a sign that the new economic giant is beginning to usurp America's role as a leading trader and global investor. Set for release on Dec. 13.

“China’s Reach” will include an interactive with three storytelling tabs, including a video explainer laying out the factors behind the switch from trading more with the U.S. to more with China over time.

China has played a long and significant role in AP’s history. AP has had a correspondent based in Beijing as far back as 1898, and was one of the first news organizations to re-establish a presence there after US-China relations were restored in the early 1970s. Today, AP maintains a large multiformat bureau in Beijing.

Read the series here: http://bigstory.ap.org/topic/chinas-reach.

About AP
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world's population sees news from AP. On the Web: www.ap.org.

Paul Colford
Director of Media Relations
The Associated Press

Erin Madigan White
Media Relations Manager

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