Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (4): 665-680.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202004001

• Globalization and Regional Development •     Next Articles

Trade protection, export spillover effects and the expanding route of Chinese export market

HE Canfei1,2, YU Changda1, JIN Lulu1   

  1. 1. School of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. Peking University-Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2018-07-24 Revised:2020-03-02 Online:2020-04-25 Published:2020-06-25
  • Supported by:
    Natural Science Foundation of China(41731278);The National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars(41425001)


In the context of globalization, the interests of countries are intertwined and complicated, thus leads to multiple types of trade frictions. In order to protect domestic industries, some countries frequently set up trade protection barriers to restrict Chinese exports, which has a significant impact on China's economic development. Therefore, it is crucial for us to clarify the impact of trade protection barriers on regional export expanding processes in China. Based on the data of the China Customs Database from 2002 to 2016, this article focuses on the expanding path of Chinese export products by integrating the supply and demand perspectives into the same framework. In addition to the introduction to trade barriers set in the demand market as external forces, we also take the external market relatedness effect into consideration, which enriches traditional export spillover mechanisms. The main findings are as follows: (1) With the process of product upgrading, Chinese export destination structure is gradually leaning to emerging economies. Eastern and Central China, which expand their exporting portfolio by exporting more technology-intensive and capital-intensive products, are main contributors to this process. (2) The evolution path of Chinese export products presents typical path dependence characteristics composed of market linkages and technological linkages. In comparison, market linkages, which have been formerly neglected, are more vital to the expanding process of Chinese export market. (3) Multiple trade barriers will inhibit export expanding by cutting off channels for products entry, thereby breaking the region's original export expanding routes. (4) External shocks have a common effect on expanding mechanisms of regional export products by weakening the path dependence of technological linkages and market linkages. In conclusion, absorbing foreign investment, regional economic cooperation and diversification of export product and destination structure are effective countermeasures against external shocks like trade barriers.

Key words: trade protection barriers, export spillover effects, path dependence, path breaking