US & Canada

The US-China power balance

Talks between US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao are being billed as the most important meeting between the two countries for 30 years. It comes at a time when relations have been strained by issues such as the trade imbalance and China's growing military might.

View the slideshow to find out more.

Graphic showing the balance of trade between the US and China, US exporting $81.8bn and importing $344.1bn
The US buys far more than it sells to China - the US claims this is because China has kept its currency artificially weak. In fact trade with China accounts for 14.3% of all US trade - the States only does more trade with Canada.
Graph showing how China's economy has grown in relation to the US
Until the 1990s, the US economy grew strongly while China remained relatively stagnant. Since 2000 China's growth rate has surged, driven by economic reforms, a huge workforce and massive investment.
Graphic comparing China and the US defence budgets
The US defence budget is the biggest in the world at around $700bn. China has the second largest - but its official military budget has soared since 1999 as the country's economy has grown.
Graphic comparing the relative size of America and Chinas population
China is the most populous country in the world ahead of India and the US. Its huge population has helped drive economic growth but it has also put huge stress on resources and air and water pollution are big problems.
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