China’s global investments have grown dramatically in recent years, surpassing the United States as the largest trading partner with many countries in Latin America and Africa and challenging America’s strategic influence across the globe. From official investments in key industries like artificial intelligence, infrastructure, aerospace, and power to investments by Chinese companies in new technologies like 5G, China has pledged to become a world economic leader by 2025.
While the U.S. Administration has proposed deep and disproportionate cuts to diplomacy and development for three consecutive years, China has doubled its foreign affairs budget since 2011. In 2018, China increased its budget for diplomacy by nearly 16% and its budget for foreign aid by nearly 7%. Yet the Chinese model of economic development has created dependencies in countries unable to repay their loans, and it has been reluctant to contribute to international efforts to address global threats.