In comparison to India, much of China’s infrastructure is space-age. “Overall, China has done very well in building up its infrastructure over the past decade,” says Paul Procee, lead urban specialist at the World Bank in Beijing. “It has done especially well in developing much of the massive transportation infrastructure it needs to keep people moving, such as highways, high speed rail networks and airports. You read mind-boggling numbers that China has used more cement in building its infrastructure over the last five years than the US has in the last 100.”
In areas like airports, there are no signs of this frenetic activity slowing down. According to research published by the CAPA Centre for Aviation, at the start of 2015 there were 51 airport projects in China worth close to $60bn. The largest of these, which was given the go-ahead at the end of 2014, is Beijing’s new, $13.1bn four-runway airport at Daxing.