Australia isn’t the only country exposed to a novel coronavirus recession in China. The COVID-19 epidemic is first and foremost a human tragedy, but it also has raised fears about the performance of the Chinese economy and everyone who supplies it. China is Australia’s No 1 export market. If iron ore is what you have to sell, China is buying. That makes Australia’s economy almost as vulnerable as its public health.
But not only Australia’s. Scan the list of other countries that rely on China as their No 1 export market, and there are several that are even more exposed. International pariah North Korea sits at the top with 91 per cent of its exports going to China, with landlocked Mongolia (76 per cent) in second place. Landlocked Laos (58 per cent) runs a distant third. You have to feel sorry for these poor, underdeveloped countries living in the shadow of a totalitarian police state such as China. Maybe not too sorry for North Korea.
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