Australia to review lease of port to Chinese firm -media report

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will review the 99-year-lease of a commercial and military port in its north to a Chinese firm, the Sydney Morning Herald reported late on Sunday, a move that could further inflame tensions between Beijing and Canberra. Defence officials are checking if Landbridge Group, owned by Chinese billionaire Ye Cheng, should be forced to give up its ownership of the port in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, on national security grounds, the newspaper said

Reuters May 03, 2021 06:11:25 IST
Australia to review lease of port to Chinese firm -media report

Australia to review lease of port to Chinese firm media report

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will review the 99-year-lease of a commercial and military port in its north to a Chinese firm, the Sydney Morning Herald reported late on Sunday, a move that could further inflame tensions between Beijing and Canberra.

Defence officials are checking if Landbridge Group, owned by Chinese billionaire Ye Cheng, should be forced to give up its ownership of the port in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, on national security grounds, the newspaper said.

Australia's national security committee has asked the defence department to "come back with some advice" on the lease and the review is underway, Defence Minister Peter Dutton was quoted as saying in the report.

The defence department, the Australian offices of Landbridge and the Chinese embassy in Canberra did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Landbridge, which has close ties to the Chinese military according to media reports, won a bidding process in 2015 to operate the port in a deal worth A$506 million ($390 million).

The decision raised eyebrows in the United States as the port is the southern flank of U.S. operations in the Pacific. Australian media reported that then President Barack Obama expressed anger at then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for not having informed him of the deal.

Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would act on the port's ownership if national security concerns were raised.

Australia overhauled its foreign investment laws almost a year ago, giving the government the power to vary or impose new conditions on a deal or force a divestment even after it has been approved by its Foreign Investment and Review Board.

Relations between Australia and China deteriorated after Canberra last year called for an international inquiry into the origins of COVID-19 , prompting trade reprisals from Beijing.

($1 = 1.2962 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Renju Jose; editing by Jane Wardell)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

China's Ximalaya, Qiniu file for U.S. IPOs
News & Analysis

China's Ximalaya, Qiniu file for U.S. IPOs

(Reuters) -Ximalaya, backed by China's Tencent Holdings, filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States on Friday, cashing in on growing demand as more people tune in to podcasts while staying at home during the pandemic. China's Qiniu Ltd, a cloud-based platform-as-a-service provider backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, also filed paperwork for a U.S. IPO

Donerail pushes gaming headset maker Turtle Beach to explore a sale - sources
News & Analysis

Donerail pushes gaming headset maker Turtle Beach to explore a sale - sources

By Greg Roumeliotis (Reuters) - Donerail Group, an investment firm led by former activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP executive Will Wyatt, has amassed a stake in Turtle Beach Corp and is pushing the maker of gaming headsets to explore a sale, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. The move represents a bet that Turtle Beach could attract acquisition interest from peers such as Corsair Gaming Inc and GN Store Nord A/S, as the video game market continues to benefit from people looking for entertainment options at home during the COVID-19 pandemic

Analysis: New meme stocks swing as shorts and retail investors face off again
Business

Analysis: New meme stocks swing as shorts and retail investors face off again

By John McCrank, Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Lawrence Delevingne NEW YORK (Reuters) - Recent volatility in a handful of so-called meme stocks is putting the spotlight back on the tussle between individual investors and short sellers, months after a wild ride in GameStop captivated Wall Street’s attention. Stocks that have notched big swings this month include laser-manufacturer MicroVision Inc, a favorite on Reddit’s popular WallStreetBets forum, whose shares have risen as much as 170% since April 20 before tumbling in recent days