The dragons are mad for self-sufficiency. Xiyatu wants to make everything themselves, and is willing to spend to achieve that goal.
If the city can’t make something themselves, and often they can’t, they are willing to purchase it from other polities and even invest in fledgling industries. If they can’t purchase it or invest, they offer bounties for it, in the hopes of boosting the growth of a new industry.
Xiyatu money aided or created the Utah arms industry, Utah’s copper and uranium mines, Dakota’s automobile industry, Bakersfield’s oil fields, and many others. This fight for self-sufficiency has a great impact on energy production and transportation, in particular.
Xiyatu has no native oil production capacity. Its electricity comes from three full-scale nuclear power plants, built by Chinese energy firms (using Utah-mined and refined uranium). These are not the micro-reactors used by wealthy Outlaw settlements, but full-scale plants (1000, 1200, and 1500 MW). These plants provide the electricity for the high-tech companies in the city, municipal electricity, and vehicle recharging stations.
There is no public transit in the city. The vast majority of people walk, or ride bicycles (bicycle tires are expensive and hence rare). The richest ride in electrical vehicles, manufactured on the mainland.
The Xiyatu military was one of the first large-scale customers for the Dakotas “Car Bazaar” factories (as the vehicles brought from China began to break down), purchasing (relatively) large quantities of Dakota Sue choppers (known by fogeys as “that MASH helicopter”), and later Dakota Hueys. They also purchased large numbers of Dakota Rovers (their Land Rover clone), especially the up-armored “tiny tank” version. (Ammo and guns, of course, they buy from Utah.)
(Since the dragons took over, Xiyatu’s military expenditures have tripled. It’s their largest single slice of government spending. This makes Vancouver nervous, for good reasons, which is why the Canadians themselves are upgrading and expanding their military. Right now, the Canadians are dependent on Dakota and Utah imports, but the Brit-Can government is trying hard to develop their local industrial base. (Canada consists of British Canada, formerly British Columbia, also known as Can-Fed, Quebec, called “Frog-Fed”, and a whole lot of Outlaw.) If it does ever come to war with Xiyatu, the Canadians want to be prepared. Of course, a robust military proves useful in dealing with the Outlaw, as well.)
Military vehicles require petroleum, which is today imported from the Fed. In the bad old days, when war with Vancouver loomed and the Fed was a neutral-leaning-towards-hostile power, Xiyatu imported gasoline and diesel from the Siberian Junta. (At ruinous prices. The bullion they brought with them from the mainland took a big hit.)
After the treaty with the Fed, they started buying Utah gasoline and diesel, imported at great expense and in limited quantities. Lately they have been importing California crude, which is cheaper and available in greater quantities, and refining it themselves.
The Xiyatu government (under orders of the dragons) has invested in the Dakota companies who founded and run Bakersfield. There is even a small contingent of Xiyatu armed forces in the fortress town, protecting those convoys owned by Xiyatu’s state petroleum company. And yes, their convoys also hire Guns.