Total annual spending under China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) peaked at nearly $106 billion in 2016. Funding for construction projects, in which China builds infrastructure within a country, also crested in 2016. Spending on investment projects, in which China takes an ownership stake in a country's assets, rose to about $44 billion in 2015 but has fallen since.

Source: Cecilia Joy-Pérez and Derek Scissors, “Be Wary of Spending on the Belt and Road,” American Enterprise Institute, November 2018,

Data for the graphic are as follows:

Year Construction Amount in Billions of Dollars Investment Amount in Billions of Dollars (includes the acquisition of companies and other assets in BRI countries)
2014 $49.70 $24.10
2015 $47.10 $43.90
2016 $72.10 $33.70
2017 $62.00 $32.90
2018 (figures are for six months and are preliminary) $24.60 $13.60

close window