lørdag 1. mai 2021

Australia stands ready to take back Darwin and Newcastle ports from China

Australia stands ready to take back two key ports from Chinese investors if any security concerns are raised, Australian PM Scott Morrison said. The Port of Newcastle, the world's biggest coal port, was handed over to a Chinese-backed consortium for 98 years for $1.75 billion when Mike Baird was NSW Premier in 2014.  And Darwin Port is run by Chinese company Landbridge Group, which secured a 99-year lease from the Northern Territory government in 2015 for just $506 million.

A new law which allowed Mr Morrison to tear up Victoria's 'Belt and Road' deal with China does not apply to commercial leases - but the PM said he would consider new legislation if he was advised the deals should be canned. 'If there is any advice that I receive from the Department of Defence or intelligence agencies that suggest that there are national security risks there then you'd expect the Government to take action on that, and that would be right,' he told 2GB on Friday. 'The same would be true in relation to the Port of Newcastle.'

The PM said he had 'certainly' not received any information to suggest the Port of Newcastle posed 'any problems with Australia's national security interests.'