Australia’s warm relationship with China has developed frostbite in the five short years since the deal was signed.
The federal government is considering scrapping a 99-year lease of Darwin’s port to a Chinese company, the latest point of tension in an increasingly chilly relationship between Canberra and Beijing.
The lease, signed in 2015, is between the Northern Territory government and Landbridge Group, a Chinese company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
Back then it was criticised over national security implications, and drew a rebuke from former US president Barack Obama. Now, in a climate where national security concerns dominate the China relationship, the deal seems like a strange throwback to a simpler time — a time when ministers like Andrew Robb and Josh Frydenberg could pose for photos with CCP-aligned Chinese billionaires, and when the relationship with our biggest trading partner was dominated by economic optimism.
Read more about the Port of Darwin deal and Australia’s relationship with China…
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