China’s global investment in 2019: Going Out goes small

Author
Derek Scissors
Content Type
Special Report
Institution
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Abstract
Chinese investment and construction around the world contracted in 2019, regardless of Beijing’s claims to the contrary. However, the decline is concentrated in large, headline-winning deals, and Chinese firms remain active on a smaller scale. A contraction in acquisitions in rich economies has boosted the relative importance of greenfield spending. The number of countries in the Belt and Road continues to expand, and power plant and transport construction continues to be preeminent. American policymakers were initially spurred to act by intense Chinese investment in 2016. This has dropped sharply, but there are challenges related to investment review that are more important, starting with strengthening export controls.
Topic
Foreign Policy, Economy, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Investment
Political Geography
China, Asia