China buys Australian land, infrastructure and enterprises at an alert speed as the country strives to increase its influence in the world.
China is the second largest foreign land owner in Australia. The Chinese companies controlled 2.3% of the country’s land, while the British investors ranked first with 2.6% and the Americans finished third with 0.7%, according to foreign ownership registration records in 2018.
Most foreign owned land is located in the state of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, which is used to feed livestock. From 2017 to 2018, Chinese companies bought more than 50,000 hectares of land in Australia. In total they own over 9.1 million hectares, close to 9 million football field sizes.
Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg said that foreign investment is important for growth. But he also warned: “It is important to make sure foreign investments are not contrary to national interests”.
Zenith Australia Group, belonging to the Chinese enterprise Shanghai Cred, owns 7 real estate in the state of Western Australia, which is one of the largest Chinese land owners in the country. In early 2019, they were alleged to relieve the illegal land of Aboriginal people in Western Australia, which required the Western Australian government to suspend their clearance. The locals say that the important flora is “torn off”.
Not only buy land, China also controls a number of strategic facilities in Australia. In 1993 the largest airline in China China Southern Airlines paid the Western Australian government a USD to rent Merredin airport for 100 years, making use of training schools for pilots.
The airport in the countryside is located 260km east of Perth, with only two cobbled airlines. But after Chinese investment, now it is the airport can operate in every weather worth millions of DOLLARS, providing jobs for the region.
However, experts expressed concern for foreign governments controlling airspace in Australia. Local pilots said they had never been rejected when requesting a landing, but in theory, China Southern Airlines could prevent them from using the airport at any time.
“It’s disgusting to think of an Australian pilot who could be denied the Chinese landing in the airport”, Dick Smith, a former chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Agency, said.
In 11/2015, the territorial Government of the north to Landbridge Australia, a subsidiary of Chinese Enterprise Shandong Landbridge, rented Darwin’s port for 99 years with a bid of 506 million. The regional government made that decision because of the desire to invest in financial deprivation from the Federation.
The U.S. President Barack Obama had questioned this controversial deal, causing former foreign minister Richard Armitage to say that Australia was “distilling” by the Allies. Director of the Research center of the Australian Defense Association (ADA) Neil James called for the rental base as “a particularly silly idea”.
The party Senator Nick Champion urged to cancel the contract. “I think that they did not weigh carefully the national interests of the private port. This is a crucial port because we have important defense bases in the Northern Territory, “he said. “We need to make sure the port is in the government. For that reason, it should be of national chemistry “.
Over the last decade, China has poured over 150 billion DOLLARS by investing or acquiring Australian companies, according to KPMG’s analysis.
Late last year, the Chinese dairy company Mengniu Dairy followed the famous dairy brand of Australia Lion Dairy & Drinks in a deal worth 600 million. Mengniu, under the China State Food processing company COFCO, also acquired Bellamy’s Organic Formula dairy company for 1.5 billion USD.
In 2017, the Chinese company Goldwind acquired the Stockyard Hill wind farm, where 149 turbines are 35 kilometers west of Ballarat, from Origin Energy for US $110 million. The following year, they built the Cattle Hill wind farm 48 turbines in the central highlands of Tasmania. China State Enterprise Powerchina acquired 80% of wind farms for a fee not disclosed in April 4 that year.
In 2017, Yancoal Australia, a Chinese coal mining company Yanzhou acquired the Coal & Allied from Rio Tinto with The price of 3.5 billion, becoming Australia’s largest coal mining company. The action led to a number of Chinese warning analysts brandishing money to access Australia’s energy resources.
“China is always interested in buying energy assets overseas,” Tim Murray from the research firm J Capital said. “They think ‘ why not use someone else’s resources before using our resources”.
At the end of the year 2019, after China was accused of spies in the Australian Parliament, some experts said that Chinese investments had “blindfolded” politicians in front of security threats. “Governments have failed to prevent Chinese internal interventions because they are too focused on trade and investment”, experts from the Lowy Research institute Peter Hartcher said. China rejected the alleged spy on the Australian parliament.
The expert’s decision to decide the Turnbull government is prohibiting the Chinese telecommunications group Huawei from building 5G network to Australia as well as giving the laws of foreign intervention marking policy change, moving to caution with greater China. Currently, Australia is actively promoting a global investigation of the Covid-19 origins.
When Hartcher was asked why Australia did not act sooner, he blamed the attracts of China’s money. “That’s because we do too much food with China,” he said.
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