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China concerned about Australia's rejection of Chinese bids

(Xinhua)    11:02, August 20, 2016

China's Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Shen Danyang speaks at a press conference in Beijing on August 17, 2016. [Photo: mofcom.gov.cn]

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Friday voiced its concerns over the Australian government's latest rejection of an investment application from two Chinese companies.

On Friday, the Australian Department of the Treasury made a final ruling to block the sale of electricity distributor Ausgrid to China's State Grid and the Hong Kong-listed Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings.

Ausgrid is a state-owned company whose shareholder is currently the New South Wales government. The two Chinese companies had offered to buy 50.4 percent of Ausgrid under a 99-year lease.

The actions by Chinese companies were normal business activities in line with market principles, MOC spokesman Sun Jiwen said, adding that they had followed international bidding procedures and cooperated in Australia's security inspection.

China respects the Australian safety inspection for foreign investment based on its laws, but blocking the sale in the last stage of the public bidding process revealed uncertainty in the Australian investment environment, Sun said.

The rejection will "severely hurt the willingness of Chinese companies to invest in Australia and exert negative influence on Sino-Australian economic and trade relations," Sun said.

He added that China hopes Australia will use caution when adopting security inspection practices in order to create a fair, equitable and transparent environment for foreign investors.

It was not the first rejection by the Australian government of Chinese investment. Earlier this year, Australia blocked the sale of a cattle company to a Chinese consortium, citing Australia's national interests.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Yuan Can,Bianji)

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