Ban on Chinese investment contrary to Australian interest: Deputy PM

15:44, December 14, 2009      

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Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Monday said the opposition's calls for a ban on Chinese investment in Australia are irresponsible and contrary to the national interest.

National's senator and opposition finance spokesman Barnaby Joyce last week warned against Chinese state-owned companies investing in the Australian resources sector.

Gillard spoke to reporters after meeting with the Chinese secretary of Jiangsu Province, Liang Baohua, in Melbourne. She said Joyce's views threatened to cut Australia off from the rest of the world and make it less economically sound.

"They are erratic and irresponsible comments that are contrary to this nation's national interest.

"Our vision of this country is for it to be a prosperous country, engaged with the world, to do that you need to trade with the rest of the world," Gillard told reporters.

Joyce backed away from his comments on Monday, but Gillard said the damage had already been done; suggesting Joyce needed to take responsibility for his actions.

"If you want to be a national leader, particularly in an economic portfolio, then you have to accept the responsibility that your statements matter, that other countries listen to your statements....that what you say today, can impact on the living standards of Australians tomorrow," she said.

Source: Xinhua
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