SINGAPORE (Mar 19): On March 13, China unveiled a government restructuring plan to consolidate its agencies, delineate areas of responsibility and better coordinate funding for the country’s Belt and Road regional infrastructure plan. Several hours later, US President Donald Trump announced over Twitter that he is replacing his secretary of state.

The contrast between what is taking place at the White House and in Beijing was not lost on political commentators. “Xi Jinping has made it clear that China is ready to project influence globally and will present the Chinese model of governance for other countries to emulate as an alternative to Western liberal democracy,” Yanmei Xie, a China policy analyst for Gavekal Dragonomics in Beijing, told Bloomberg. “So far, it is difficult to discern a coherent strategy from the Trump team, if it can be called a team.”

China’s influence is becoming increasingly visible in the financial markets. According to Cushman & Wakefield’s Global Investment Atlas 2018, launched on March 15, Asian investors are the driving force behind last year’s record level of real estate investment. Money from the region accounted for more than half of the US$1.6 trillion ($2.1 trillion) deployed. Notably, real estate investments in the US have declined. “The US remains the main target for international investors, but its lead has fallen,” says the real estate services firm. Meanwhile, China was the most targeted country for the first time in four years. Investments into the Chinese real estate market increased 37% to US$639.5 million, while investments into the US fell 7% to US$431.3 million.

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