Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 google plus Instagram YouTube Thursday 19 November 2015

Australian Defense Minister: China’s $360 Million Port Deal with Australia Raises No Security Concerns

By Zhu Xi (People's Daily Online)    06:56, November 19, 2015

File photo: Darwin port in north Australia

Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said the Defense Ministry “does not have security concerns” about China’s $360 million port deal with Australia, a statement in response to reports from foreign media over security issues.

The 99-year lease, inked last month by a privately owned Shandong Landbridge Group headquartered in east China’s Shandong Province, will allow the company to operate and modernize the Darwin port in north Australia.

The lease prompted western media to question over security issues. Media such as New York Times questioned on the wisdom of the deal, and, citing a report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), claimed that Shandong Landbridge Group has military ties. The contract would allow China to use the port to spy on the 1,000 American marines in the region, the report said.

It also claimed that some Chinese military officials had paid a visit to the company to set up a paramilitary unit. The source of this statement, the report said, was from a scholar at Australian National University, Geoff Wade, who has translated an article on Landbridge’s Chinese website.

However, the translation was inaccurate, said Director of Landbridge’s Australian subsidiary Mike Hughes in a statement. The source was inaccurate in that it has mistakenly translated the company’s firefighting personnel into “armed militia”, the statement said.

The chief Minister of Australia’s Northern Territory, Adam Giles, also confirmed that ASPI’s assertion on military ties was misleading. The lease had been reviewed by Australia’s military, who found no reason to block it, he said. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Joanna Law, Zou Luxiao,Bianji)

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