China’s $50bn Spending Spree on New Silk Road

In the past three months alone, China has spent over US$50 billion on energy and infrastructure projects in Central Asia. The Independent reports:

Chinese outbound investment totalled just over $100bn in the third quarter of 2013 with around half of that sum spent in the central Asian states visited by the Chinese president Xi Jinping on an official tour last month.

“Investment closely tracks where the [Beijing] government turns up,” said Henry Tillman, the chief executive of the merchant bank Grisons Peak which compiled the figures. “We’ve not noticed such a strong correlation before”.

Xi visited Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in September and signed sizable business deals with all four countries. The pattern of spending confirms that Chinese foreign investment flows are largely determined by the political leadership. “Everyone thinks that’s the case. But those are the numbers,” said Mr Tillman.

[…] China’s largest financial agreements over the third quarter were related to energy infrastructure projects. In Kazakhstan China signed 22 agreements worth a combined total of $30bn. This included a $5bn deal for the China National Petroleum Corporation to acquire an 8 per cent stake in the Kashagan Oil & Gas field. [Source]

Read more about Xi Jinping’s recent trip to Central Asia and the “the New Silk Road,” via CDT.