Should we worry about Chinese investment in Australia? 16



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Let me say at the outset I am not anti-Chinese people as individuals. There is a lot to like about Chinese people, their culture, their sense of family and of course their food. It is the communist regime and the regime’s two-facedness I have problems with. Recently the Chinese Foreign Minister criticised Australia for mentioning the Chinese military build -up in the South China Sea. The Chinese are reclaiming land and building military bases. They don’t admit this, but it is obvious. This military build-up is a belligerent act. Australia is right to have concerns over this. It is not what we should expect from a so called ‘friendly nation’.

Let us not forget that China is a communist, autocratic government where the party and its interests are paramount. Not a lot happens in China without the tentacles of the party somewhere in the mix. Their human rights record is atrocious. All media is censored including the internet. People who dissent can end up in the most intolerable of situations if not executed. It is a pity that Australia’s human rights record is not too good. Any criticism of China’s record can only be seen as hypocritical.

The Communist party’s flirtation with capitalism and business is because it suits them. They may showcase the trappings of wealth, but power and control by the party is inherent in their mentality. The Communist machine in China and its control of the military and police ensures it has control over the masses.

If power and control exists internally in China, there is reason to suppose that such mentality will extend externally. Remember Marx… Power and control of the physical and the mental is wrested in those who own the means of production. China is in the process of extending its sphere of influence through various means, including ownership of the means of production in areas of mining and agriculture.

In Australia the Chinese bought into the Cubbie cotton empire when nobody else would. They have bought more than $450 million dollars worth of cattle producing land in Queensland. They own the only productive mine in Broken Hill, the largest dairy in Tasmania and have leased the port of Darwin and its facilities through which the US marines rotate and have a large share in the port of Newcastle. While the downturn in the iron ore and coal prices has seen some lessening of Chinese interests in these commodities, they do still own a sizeable amount of these assets. China buys a great amount of our iron ore and coal. China benefits from the lower prices. It suits their construction program to have these commodities cheaper. They are still buying, but at much lower prices. Is it possible they orchestrated their own downturn in the economy because the price of iron ore and coal was too high?

It is not only in Australia where the Chinese have been investing. They have invested heavily in the New Zealand dairy industry. In poorer countries they have become a benevolent benefactor providing financial aid and investing in project to curry favour.

World domination by the Communists from China by influencing supply and demand through the ownership of the means of production. Now there is food for thought.

What do you think?

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Michael Whitehead

Michael Whitehead attended uni as a mature age student in his 50s, completing multiple postgraduate degrees in health science and psychology. He has a canoe, a pushbike, a bodyboard, a tennis racquet and a fishing rod. He uses them all. Michael is now enjoying retirement after a wide range of careers, most recently as Manager of a Family Support Service.

  1. It isn’t ‘investment’. It is ownership of our land. It is all wrong and will come back to bite us on the bum. What is wrong with leasing these properties? The same could be said about the Chinese buying so many properties especially in the capital cities. I fear for my grandchildren’s future and their children. To me it is a quick fix which is all governments want these days. No politician has any foresight except as far as the next election. Rant over!

  2. It’s not about worrying about Investment from any country it’s a matter of disallowing purchasing of land,property and industry
    Allow Leaseholds but NOT PURCHASES, certainly anybody with the mindset above idiocy can see that

    1 REPLY
    • Ron, I Totally agree with the sentiment.
      The problem is that we have a “Democracy” with a huge amount of freedom as is the case in most Western countries.
      Would you complain if you weren’t able to buy the property in which you live?
      Would you complain of you were unable to buy a farm but only lease the land?

      Certainly I would…
      The problem is if an Australian company wants to sell their land to the highest bidder and the Chinese government is by far the highest bidder or even the only bidder, how do we lease it to them and for how long?
      In Vanuatu for instance and mostly in Fiji land is leasehold from the Custom owners.
      There are so many disputes about who owns the land it makes many investments drag on for years and destroys many opportunities.

      Just how would anybody make this idea work?

      The Foreign Investment Review Board is our safety net and I guess sometimes it works and more and more it appears that it doesn’t work for the long term national interest on quite a few occasions.

      What are the alternatives?

  3. We should not allow such “investment” from any foreign country. It is foreign ownership and that’s a major concern, particularly as a big part is is our food producing land . We need to be very concerned that the government approved this .

  4. It is extremely concerning our government is allowing this to happen…….Leaseholds should be the only thing allowed NOT ownership by any foreign ‘”Investors” from any country.
    Dick Smith for prime minister I say. He seems to be the only one we could pin our hopes on who is genuine about the future of Australia

  5. I don’t even buy green bananas these days – why should I worry about who’s buying property?

  6. It is control by stealth. There will never be a need to invade our country – they will just choke off our food supply, destroy our dependent economy by manipulation the price of commodities, they will know what is going on here (no need for spies) and they will be able to control who comes and goes from our ports. Beware the dragon, but it is probably already too late we have been sold out for the proverbial “purse full of silver” by those running our country.

    1 REPLY
    • You are absolutely correct. One day we will wake up and find that our government is Chinese, and we are doing what they desire. Sold out, is right!

  7. There was a brilliant documentary series on Africa. In one episode a Chinese company was restoring a tourist resort. The announcer asked the Chinese foreman if China was trying to take over Africa with all their construction project “investments”.
    The Chinaman politely said …” No we intend to take over the world this way ”
    That was 5 years ago. Make your own conclusion.

    1 REPLY
    • Totally agree with that statement. I had a 25yr Chinese student tell me the same thing. You cannot buy property in China and all businesses must have a Chinese partner.

  8. Oh …I forgot to ask. What other country is allowing a foreign country to BUY their own property ?

  9. I am very concerned. Is Australia that desperate that we have to sell our land let alone any land, to foreign investors. We as a nation are all too ready to say – she’ll be right mate – well it won’t be right! Softly, softly catcher monkey – yes, Australia is the monkey sadly.


  10. The simple fact is that the Chinese – or anybody else for that matter – would not be buying in Australia if nothing was for sale. Sellers haven’t got a gun pointed at their head! Reflect upon this before condemning – if your house was judged by a local real estate agent to be worth $400,000 and a Chinese buyer offered $500,000 would you refuse the offer because you only wanted to sell to a fellow Australian? That’s not greed, that is simple common commercial sense.
    Talk about the Chinese “talking over” the country is ludicrous conspiracy theory rubbish and sadly akin to racism. Do we hear similar wild claims about British or American investment in Australia? Of course not.

    1 REPLY
    • You are right about people selling to the highest bidder, and we can’t expect individuals or companies to lose money by refusing to sell to overseas bidders. That’s why we need governments to have the guts to make hard decisions for the good of the country instead of worrying how they can win the next election

  11. I suggest voting for a party that will restrict foreign ownership of Australian land and resources. The liberals have shown they will betray us, it all started under Kevin Rudd’s labor and the greens might have some protectionism.
    Sustainable Australia has some very sound policies restricting foreign ownership and they will get my vote as I’m very worried about the Chinese taking over Australia.

  12. Can we at least put a cap on any more investment (takeover) as the horse has bolted so far we forget we own a horse. Coming into Anzac Day it makes you sad to think we are being invaded through the airports not via military planes etc.

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