China’s transport infrastructure + military spending < US military spending

China spends about $440 billion per year on transport infrastructure and $240 billion per year on the military in 2018.

China’s official military budget is $175 billion but Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and others estimate China has a larger military budget.

The base US military budget for 2018 is about $599 billion but there is an additional $300 billion for overseas operations and defense-related spending.

In 2018, the US had defense-related expenses of $181.3 billion. They include the Department of Veterans Affairs ($83.1 billion), the State Department ($28.3 billion), Homeland Security ($46 billion), FBI and Cybersecurity in the Department of Justice ($8.8 billion) and the National Nuclear Security Administration in the Department of Energy ($21.9 billion).

China’s total fixed asset investment in transport infrastructure hit 2.28 trillion yuan ($327.77 billion) from January to September this year, up 1.4 percent from a year earlier.

The US spent about $416 billion by federal, state, and local governments for transportation and water infrastructure in 2014. Most
of that spending came from state and local governments: They provided $320 billion, and the federal government accounted for $96 billion.

Transportation infrastructure accounted for about two-thirds ($279 billion) of all public spending on transportation and water infrastructure. Highways (interstate and local roads)
claimed $165 billion, or about 60 percent of that spending on transportation (representing 40 percent of all public spending on transportation and water infrastructure). After highways, the amount of public spending allocated to other types of transportation infrastructure was much lower, with the second highest recipient, mass transit, accounting for less than 25 percent of outlays for transportation (or 16 percent of total spending on transportation and water infrastructure).

The remaining one-third ($137 billion) of total public spending on transportation and water infrastructure went to water infrastructure.

In 2015 the U.S. transportation system moved a daily average of about 49.3 million tons of freight valued at more than $52.5 billion. (17.9 billion tons of freight per year)

China’s Infrastructure

China’s spending on high-speed highways reached 702.6 billion yuan, up 12 percent on the year, though much of the increase was offset by declines in investment in rural road infrastructure.

China has promised to boost its railway freight capacity in order to ease traffic congestion and pollution. The ministry said rail freight volumes rose 7.9 percent in the first three quarters, with deliveries of coal by rail rising around 10 percent.

Rail still only accounted for 8.1 percent of total freight, which amounted to 38 billion tonnes over the period, up 7 percent on the year.

China said in July that it would boost the volume of goods delivered by trains by as much as 30 percent by 2020, noting that trucks produced 13 times more pollution per unit of cargo than trains.

In 2017, China’s railways, highways, waterways and civil airlines carried a total of 47 billion tons of cargo last year, up 9.3 percent from the 2016 level.

Rail freight grew 10.7 percent to 3.69 billion tons in 2017, while air cargo increased 5.7 percent to 7.06 million tons.

Highway freight volume rose 10.1 percent year-on-year to 36.8 billion tons while waterway freight volume gained 4.3 percent to 6.66 billion tons last year.

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