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China turned to ASEAN to cover US trade dip

Exports to Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore grew by double digits

Lach Huyen port in northern Vietnam: Chinese exports to the country grew 16.7% for the year. (Photo by Atsushi Tomiyama)

BEIJING/TOKYO -- ASEAN has emerged as a key export destination for China as President Xi Jinping's administration endures a bruising trade war with the U.S.

Chinese exports to the U.S. dropped 12.5% for 2019, while imports from the U.S. plunged 20.9%, in dollar-denominated goods trade statistics released Tuesday in Beijing by the General Administration of Customs -- the biggest falls in data going back to 1984.

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