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Chinese investment in the Port of Darwin: A strategic risk for Australia?

By Paul Barnes, Sam Bateman, Allan Behm, et al.

Few strategic issues have galvanised public attention in Australia as the decision by the Northern Territory Government to lease key facilities in the Port of Darwin to a Chinese company, Landbridge. This Strategic Insights brings together items published on our blog The Strategist as well as articles by ASPI staff published in other media outlets such as The Australian and The Australian Financial Review. The authors are Paul Barnes, Sam Bateman, Allan Behm, Phoebe Benich, Anthony Bergin, Patrick Cronin, Neil James, Peter Jennings, Geoff Wade, and Feng Zhang. Our aim is to bring this material into an accessible format, in part, to assist the deliberations of the Senate Economic References Committee which, over January and February 2016, is conducting an inquiry into the foreign investment review framework including with reference to the Port of Darwin lease.

The Port of Darwin lease highlights an urgent need to review how Australia takes account of its national security interests in making decisions about foreign investment.