Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mapping China's Foreign Investment

Over the last month there has been a sudden surge of interactive maps exploring China's growing influence as a global super power.

In One Belt, One Road the Financial Times mapped some of the huge infrastructure projects China has undertaken to connect central Asia with the rest of the world. In Chinese Aid in the Pacific the Lowy Institute has mapped Chinese aid projects in the Pacific islands region. The Center for Strategic & International Studies has also mapped China's territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea.

The New York Times has now mapped China's overseas investments from 2005-2013. The World According to China features a series of maps showing where and how much China has invested in other countries.

The maps show how Chinese investment has grown substantially since 2005. They also show how China has invested heavily in politically sensitive countries such as North Korea and Myanmar, countries western investors tend to avoid. China has also invested heavily in resource rich countries in Africa and the Middle East, with 'autocratic governments and struggling economies.

The result of this investment is that China has locked up many important oil and construction contracts in countries where Western governments would like to see economic reform and improving environmental standards. Thus making it harder for the west to push for political reforms in these countries.

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