EU exports to China rose continuously from 26 billion euro in 2000 to 136 bn in 2011, while EU imports from China reached a new peak of 293 bn euro in 2011.
As a result, the EU trade deficit with China fell to 156 bn euro in 2011.
The data for the first six months of 2012 show a continued growth in EU exports to China, while imports remained nearly stable. China was the EU's second most important trading partner after the USA, accounting for 9 percent of EU exports and 16 percent of EU imports.
The figures were released Tuesday by Eurostat, the EU's statistical office, on the occasion of the 15th European Union - China summit, which will take place on in Brussels on Friday.
Among the 27 EU Member States, Germany (34 bn euro or 47 percent of EU exports) was by far the largest exporter to China in the first six months of 2012, followed by France (8 bn or 11 percent) and the United Kingdom (6 bn or 8 percent).
Germany (30 bn or 21 percent of EU imports) was also the largest importer, followed by the Netherlands (26 bn or 18 percent), the United Kingdom (19 bn or 14 percent), Italy and France (both 13 bn or 9 percent).