Official says Australian security key to Chinese investment


CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s treasurer says that national security will be his overriding consideration when he decides whether to allow a Chinese consortium to lease a major Sydney electricity grid.

Scott Morrison told Sydney Radio 2GB on Monday said he is close to making a decision on whether to allow Chinese state-owned State Grid Corp. and Hong Kong-registered Cheung Kong Infrastructure Group to buy a 99-year lease for more than half the New South Wales state-owned electricity network Ausgrid for more than 10 billion Australian dollars ($7.6 billion).

Morrison must decide that such foreign investments are in the national interest before they can be approved.

Chinese foreign investment, particularly from state-owned companies, has become increasingly contentious in Australia has China takes a more aggressive stance in territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

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