China’s commercial influence overseas is rising. According to one source, China’s outward investment since 2005 totals $263bn (€185bn)

China's worldwide reach

While there are several ways to measure China’s outward investment, the Heritage Foundation (a US think-tank) boasts that it has the only publicly available data. And it’s all handily displayed in this interactive infographic.

Chinese foreign direct investment peaked at just over $60bn in 2010. Still this pales in comparison to roughly $10 trillion of US foreign direct investment between 2005-10.

The map above (also courtesy of Heritage) shows that China’s global footprint touches almost every part of the planet. Most of this money is used to buy up what Beijing designates as valuable strategic assets, like natural resources, metals, energy and power.

China is buying up everything it needs to grow. Other goals include advancing political influence.

The countries attracting the most Chinese investment are Australia, the USA, and Brazil, in descending order.