MPhil W1 Translation

Foreign expertise has been critical as manufacturing supply chains become increasingly complex, involving multiple countries that separately produce individual components that are then shipped to China for final assembly. Since such a system can render global trade statistics misleading; some experts say that a more apt label would be "Assembled in China."

Because so many different people in different places touch a particular product, other experts say you might as well just throw away the trade figures.

"In a globalized world, bilateral trade figures are irrelevant," said Dong Tao, an economist at UBS. "The trade balance between the U.S. and China is as irrelevant as the trade balance between New York and Minnesota."

China's supply of cheap labor, coupled with a deliberately undervalued currency, helped bring about $465 billion in foreign direct investment into China from 1995 to 2004, making the country one of the hottest destinations in the world for foreign capital.

In the electronics industry, relocations to China have soared. A decade ago, Taiwan controlled the computer components market and relied on domestic manufacturing. Now, Taiwanese companies produce 80 percent of the world's motherboards, 72 percent of all notebook computers and 68 percent of liquid crystal display monitors. And most of the assembly takes place in China.