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Stacey Vanek-Smith: It's been a huge year for China, and now the country's on track to end the year as the world's leading exporter -- pushing Germany out of the top spot. From Shanghai, Scott Tong reports.

Scott Tong: China's exports of goods "will probably surpass" Germany this year. That's how China's vice commerce minister put it.

It won't be a big surprise, cause China's been gaining. This decade, Chinese exports have grown an average 25 percent a year. That's twice as fast as Germany. The two titans each shipped out about $1.4 trillion of goods last year. That's 9 percent of global trade.

The U.S. sits in third place with 8 percent, though it is the world's leading exporter of services -- for instance, consulting and banking.

For all China's success, here's an asterisk or two. Almost half its exports are simply taking parts from outside China and assembling them. And China takes a lot of heat for facilitating its exports with an artificially cheap currency.

In Shanghai, I'm Scott Tong for Marketplace.

Follow Scott Tong at @tongscott