China does rather stand out there, doesn’t it? This seems to provide graphic support for Dani Rodrik’s argument that “China has somehow managed to latch on to advanced, high-productivity products that one would not normally expect a poor, labor-abundant country like China to produce, let alone export”.
I like this kind of ‘trend’ chart, with income or some other indicator of development on the X axis, because it means we can pick out patterns that seem common to countries at a similar stage of development regardless of when they each reached that stage (a similar illustration for trade barriers would be particularly interesting). Of course, such patterns may break down over time - for example, it might be that the inverted U-shape trend was once the rule, but the diffusion of technology means that countries like China can start to seriously industrialise at much lower incomes. So this chart needs a Z axis to represent calendar time too (at which point it will unfortunately become pretty much impossible to either construct or comprehend).