Post falsely claims that the West does not matter to China

Оne look at the facts and numbers makes it clear that China would “give a damn” about the West if it were to impose sanctions that would be detrimental to its exports, especially given that China is an export-dependent economy, with most of its exports going to Western countries


China cares a great deal about Western countries and their relations to them, as they are its largest trading partners. Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to France, Serbia, and Hungary, whose goal is to improve the relations with the EU, speaks to the importance of Western countries in China’s political plan. If China were to halt its exports to the US and the EU, its economy would take a significant blow. This economic relationship is the reason China does not directly provide Russia with weapons. Instead, a limited number of companies deliver radar parts which triggered secondary sanctions. China’s dependence on the West has led to it not taking a side in the Russia-Ukraine dispute, writes Truthmeter.

Under the content-sharing agreement between Truthmeter.mk and Meta.mk, we republish the text in full below:

We are fact-checking a Facebook post that claims that the West does not matter to China. 

Today’s joke of the day. As if the Chinese give a damn about the West, claims the post.

The post contains a screenshot of an article about a statement from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He publicly warned China that it would jeopardize its relations with the West if it did not stop supporting Russia. 

As it says in the article from Fokus citing Reuters, Stoltenberg says China has helped Russia the most by sharing high-end technology, such as semiconductors. 

Last year, Russia imported 90% of its microelectronics from China, used to produce missiles, tanks and aircraft. China is also working to provide Russia with improved satellite capabilities and imaging, said Stoltenberg. 

The post we are fact-checking, using Stoltenberg’s statement, is manipulating the public by claiming that “the Chinese give a damn about the West.” 

However, one look at the facts and numbers makes it clear that China would “give a damn” about the West if it were to impose sanctions that would be detrimental to its exports, especially given that China is an export-dependent economy, with most of its exports going to Western countries. 

According to data published by platform Statista on 1 March 2024, China had 3.38 trillion US Dollars’ worth of goods in 2023, which is 4.6% lower compared to the same figure from 2022, when China exported $3.54 trillion worth of goods. In 2021, China exported $3.31 trillion worth of goods. 

China’s exports have been growing steadily over the past decade, with the exception of 2009 when financial crisis and global economic downturn slowed down global trade and 2016 witnessing another decrease in global demand. Apart from being the most populous country, China has also become the largest manufacturing economy and the largest exporter in the world. The US, ASEAN and the European Union were China’s leading export partners in 2022, specifies Statista. 

In 2023, China’s top export destination was ASEAN. According to Statista, the value of Chinese exports to ASEAN amounted to over 3.68 trillion yuan. 
The European Union is China’s second-largest export destination, with exports valued at 3.52 trillion yuan, followed by the US in third place with 3.51 trillion yuan in exports. 


In 2023, Chinese exports of trade goods to the United States totaled approximately 427.23 billion US dollars, according to Statista. 

Apart from exporting to the USA, China also imports goods from the US. 

Compared to U.S. imports from China, the value of US exports to China in 2020 amounted to 427.23 billion US Dollars. China is the United States’ largest trading partner, while China was the United States’ third largest export market. Leading agricultural exports to China included soybeans, cotton, and pork products. Texas was the top state for exports to China, with goods totaling 16.9 billion U.S. dollars, reveals Statista. 

In 2023, China was the largest partner for EU imports of goods (20.5% of total extra-EU imports) and was the third largest partner for EU exports of goods (8.8% of total extra-EU exports), according to Eurostat. 

The EU’s top imports from China include telecommunications equipment, electrical machinery and apparatuses, and automobiles. 

Annual imports and exports with the EU and US reached RMB 5.5 trillion (US$771.5 billion) and RMB 4.67 trillion (US$655 billion), accounting for 13.2 percent and 11.2 percent respectively. Meanwhile, bilateral trade with Latin America and Africa increased by 6.8 percent and 7.1 percent year-on-year respectively, explains China Briefing. 

These numbers prove that China does indeed care about the West and its relations to it, because Western countries – above all the EU and the USA – are China’s biggest trading partners after the ASEAN countries. 

The USA and the EU announced possible sanctions for China should it continue to aid Russia in its war against Ukraine. As reported by CNBC on 20 February 2024, China has much more to lose than Russia if the US introduces sanctions. 

US sanctions could severely impact China’s economy, which is already struggling due to a slower-than-expected recovery from Covid-19 and turmoil in its real estate sector However, such a step could also hurt the US due to the trade interdependence between the two countries. This consideration has prompted caution from Washington in the past, according to CNBC’s analysis. 

If broad sanctions were applied to China, it would really hit home. And their economic performance right now is already weak. So I would hope China would calculate carefully that there are consequences around the corner for supporting Russia’s violence and depravity in Ukraine, said Democratic Congressman Gerald Connelly for CNBC. 

CNBC’s analysis from last September revealed that Chinese companies played a key role in strengthening Russian military capabilities through trading goods for use on the battlefield in Ukraine. A special report from January highlighted that China had become a crucial channel for delivering critical Western technology to Russia. 

On 13 February, Politico reported that the EU was proposing sanctions for Chinese companies helping Russia. 

To strengthen the relations with the EU, Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit France, Serbia, and Hungary in the period 5 – 10 May, in what will be his first visit to Europe in the last five years. 

It is time to elevate the comprehensive partnership between China and France to a new level and to give fresh momentum to the healthy development of China-EU relations, contributing to global peace, stability, development, and progress. China looks forward to working with France to further reinforce mutual political trust, solidarity, and cooperation, said the spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry Lin Jian, as reported by Voice of America. 

From all the points mentioned, it is clear that Western countries are crucial to China, as they are China’s biggest trading partners. The planned visits of Chinese President Xi Jinping to France, Serbia, and Hungary to strengthen relations with the EU further prove the importance of maintaining good relations with the West. If China were unable to export to the USA and the EU, its economy would suffer significantly. This is why China does not provide weapons directly to Russia. Instead, a small number of companies supply radar parts, which are now subject to secondary sanctions. China depends on the West which is why it remains neutral in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Therefore, the post we are fact-checking is assessed as untrue. 


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