China is outpacing and outspending the U.S. on global development
China’s global influence has grown dramatically in recent years, surpassing the United States as the largest trading partner with many countries in Africa and Latin America. China doubled its diplomacy budget over the last five years, proposing to increase its foreign affairs budget by 15 percent in 2018 alone, at the same time that the United States considers proposals to cut its funding for diplomacy and development by 30 percent.
How much is China spending and on what?
China is expected to spend over $1 trillion on its Belt and Road initiative—seven times the size of the Marshall Plan in real dollars. This initiative is already building new markets for Chinese goods and increasing economic connectivity from Asia to Africa to the Americas, encompassing more than 60 percent of the world’s population and one-third of global GDP. In the last year alone, China invested over $20 billion into seaports in other countries, doubling the amount spent in the previous year.