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.

65 thoughts on “China’s transport infrastructure + military spending < US military spending”

  1. Speaking of China and Transport – the Chinese have signed a deal with Pakistan to transport their astronauts to China’s upcoming space station in 2022, by which time it will be in operation. China’s new space station will be comparable to the International Space Station in size, and China has been touting it as a hub for future international cooperation in space. China’s next-generation crew capsule will be able to hold up to 6 passengers, which could afford the possibility of bringing up multiple astronauts from different countries even on the same flight.

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  2. But China is growing 6.5% per year and has 40% of debt The US is growing 3.5% per year and has 105% of debt Which means that the trend is in favour of China China will pass the US in GDP in 2023 (about )

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  3. Would be interesting to see an attempt of a comparison of the actual output of the spending. Things are much less expensive in China.

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  4. The US needs to spend a lot more on infrastructure. We are not spending enough to maintain what we have much less to expand it. The Chinese spending mostly goes to expand their capabilities since they didn’t have much old infrastructure in the first place. The Chinese do need to spend more money on moving cargo and on regular passenger rail. Every decent size village should have a railroad station. Rails have less of a footprint than roads. The world caot afford for every Chinese adult to own a car.

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  5. State Dept is ‘defense related’? You fricking kidding me?Brian seems to be one of the few people around who doesn’t know that the State Dept works for everyone else BUT America.

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  6. To me if savings plus toll plus gasoline taxes less than return on the money invested plus labor and maintenance then yes we have reach saturation point. Otherwise no we haven’t. And while there maybe some projects that aren’t justifiable economically there will be others that are. Thus unless you offer more proof of what you saying I am just going to ignore it.

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  7. To me if savings plus toll plus gasoline taxes less than return on the money invested plus labor and maintenance then yes we have reach saturation point. Otherwise no we haven’t. And while there maybe some projects that aren’t justifiable economically there will be others that are. Thus unless you offer more proof of what you saying I am just going to ignore it.

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  8. Their aging population will be a burden but right now their productivity is growing.”Wrong. You are describing Japan, not China.They got old before they finished getting rich, unlike South Korea, Taiwan and Japan which got rich enough three decades or more ago.

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  9. No, it doesn’t. Doesn’t matter if they have 100 times the population.Just like CO2 emissions per capita don’t matter.Yet you claim both matter when trying to make your trolling points.

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  10. There is no diminishing returns since we haven’t reach the saturation point.”AGAIN…EDUCATE yourself on economics! We long ago reached the ‘saturation point’, as you call it.

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  11. “Their aging population will be a burden but right now their productivity is growing.”

    Wrong. You are describing Japan, not China.

    They got old before they finished getting rich, unlike South Korea, Taiwan and Japan which got rich enough three decades or more ago.

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  12. No, it doesn’t. Doesn’t matter if they have 100 times the population.

    Just like CO2 emissions per capita don’t matter.

    Yet you claim both matter when trying to make your trolling points.

    Reply
  13. “There is no diminishing returns since we haven’t reach the saturation point.”

    AGAIN…EDUCATE yourself on economics!

    We long ago reached the ‘saturation point’, as you call it.

    Reply
  14. There is no diminishing returns since we haven’t reach the saturation point. We have to maintain what we use and where there has been growth or the potential for growth we need to invest in infrastructure.

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  15. Their aging population will be a burden but right now their productivity is growing. I do expect at least one severe downturn within the next 5 years or so since no economy grows forever.

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  16. The US dollar is growing because of tax cuts.”Exactly. Tax cuts means economic growth means more demand for dollars.”THe GDP is increasing as the US is making more and more debt”No. Debt is increasing as the GDP increase can support it.

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  17. So? That means nothing.What matters is what percentage of old people vs percentage of young people China has RELATIVE to THEIR population.

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  18. No we don’t. You seem to think that this is the 1950s and don’t understand anything about the Law of Diminishing Returns.

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  19. State Dept is ‘defense related’? You fricking kidding me?Brian seems to be one of the few people around who doesn’t know that the State Dept works for everyone else BUT America.

    Reply
  20. This is bunch of cull The US dollar is growing because of tax cuts. THe GDP is increasing as the US is making more and more debt This will lead to recession in a while And even this way, China is still growing about 2x as fast as the US

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  21. Their aging population is retiring while their ‘One Child’ will be burdened to take care of both parents and immediate family.Lets just see how their economy is in 15 years.

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  22. Chinese debt is 35 trillion dollars … China’s private debt in the last quarter of 2017 was around 24 trillion plus 11 trillion government debt.

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  23. There is no diminishing returns since we haven’t reach the saturation point. We have to maintain what we use and where there has been growth or the potential for growth we need to invest in infrastructure.

    Reply
  24. Their aging population will be a burden but right now their productivity is growing. I do expect at least one severe downturn within the next 5 years or so since no economy grows forever.

    Reply
  25. “The US dollar is growing because of tax cuts.”

    Exactly. Tax cuts means economic growth means more demand for dollars.

    “THe GDP is increasing as the US is making more and more debt”

    No. Debt is increasing as the GDP increase can support it.

    Reply
  26. The US needs to spend a lot more on infrastructure. We are not spending enough to maintain what we have much less to expand it. The Chinese spending mostly goes to expand their capabilities since they didn’t have much old infrastructure in the first place. The Chinese do need to spend more money on moving cargo and on regular passenger rail. Every decent size village should have a railroad station. Rails have less of a footprint than roads. The world caot afford for every Chinese adult to own a car.

    Reply
  27. The long term trend is in the Chinese favor. They have 5 times the population so they will win unless they totally screw it up.

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  28. This is bunch of cull
    The US dollar is growing because of tax cuts.
    THe GDP is increasing as the US is making more and more debt
    This will lead to recession in a while
    And even this way, China is still growing about 2x as fast as the US

    Reply
  29. The US Dollar is growing because the US economy is growing – and reforming – after a long period of mismanagement. Trump is re-routing trade (and jobs) back to the US. Some of this is being re-routed away from China, which is why their markets are suffering. It’s only a matter of time until they have to devalue their currency, which is why capital is starting to flee in advance of that.

    Reply
  30. The US needs to spend a lot more on infrastructure. We are not spending enough to maintain what we have much less to expand it. The Chinese spending mostly goes to expand their capabilities since they didn’t have much old infrastructure in the first place. The Chinese do need to spend more money on moving cargo and on regular passenger rail. Every decent size village should have a railroad station. Rails have less of a footprint than roads. The world cannot afford for every Chinese adult to own a car.

    Reply
  31. The US Dollar is growing because the US economy is growing – and reforming – after a long period of mismanagement. Trump is re-routing trade (and jobs) back to the US. Some of this is being re-routed away from China, which is why their markets are suffering. It’s only a matter of time until they have to devalue their currency, which is why capital is starting to flee in advance of that.

    Reply
  32. Speaking of China and Transport – the Chinese have signed a deal with Pakistan to transport their astronauts to China’s upcoming space station in 2022, by which time it will be in operation. China’s new space station will be comparable to the International Space Station in size, and China has been touting it as a hub for future international cooperation in space. China’s next-generation crew capsule will be able to hold up to 6 passengers, which could afford the possibility of bringing up multiple astronauts from different countries even on the same flight.

    Reply
  33. China’s capital markets don’t reflect this trend. They may have to devalue their currency soon. Meanwhile the US Dollar is going from strength to strength. The tide is with the USA, not China.

    Reply
  34. But China is growing 6.5% per year and has 40% of debt The US is growing 3.5% per year and has 105% of debt Which means that the trend is in favour of China China will pass the US in GDP in 2023 (about )

    Reply
  35. Would be interesting to see an attempt of a comparison of the actual output of the spending. Things are much less expensive in China.

    Reply
  36. Speaking of China and Transport – the Chinese have signed a deal with Pakistan to transport their astronauts to China’s upcoming space station in 2022, by which time it will be in operation. China’s new space station will be comparable to the International Space Station in size, and China has been touting it as a hub for future international cooperation in space. China’s next-generation crew capsule will be able to hold up to 6 passengers, which could afford the possibility of bringing up multiple astronauts from different countries even on the same flight.

    Reply
  37. China’s capital markets don’t reflect this trend. They may have to devalue their currency soon. Meanwhile the US Dollar is going from strength to strength. The tide is with the USA, not China.

    Reply
  38. But China is growing 6.5% per year and has 40% of debt
    The US is growing 3.5% per year and has 105% of debt
    Which means that the trend is in favour of China

    China will pass the US in GDP in 2023 (about )

    Reply

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