Pandemic Bolsters China’s Position as the World’s Manufacturer
The West relies on Chinese factories, despite national-security, supply-chain concerns
For all the talk in Western capitals of reducing reliance on Chinese factories, China has in the past two years consolidated its position as the world’s dominant supplier of manufactured goods.
Though some of China’s gains in global markets may unwind as the effects of the pandemic fade, the trend nonetheless highlights just how hard it is to unplug from the world’s largest factory floor. Such “decoupling,” as it is known in policy circles, is especially challenging as Chinese factories extend their reach into higher-end products like chips and smartphones and new technologies such as electric cars and green energy.