China urges safety of Chinese citizens in Australia

Chinese investment in Australia plummets amid tensions

Chinese investment in Australia plummets amid tensions

The reading marks the fourth straight drop and is just a fraction of the $13 billion injected into the country in 2016, with Canberra growing increasingly wary of the Asian superpower's intentions.

Nearly all - 86 per cent - of that investment came from Chinese firms established within Australia, and did not come directly from foreign firms. "UN data is measured differently, but the fall in Chinese investment to Australia was much larger".

More than one third of Chinese Australians reported facing discrimination previous year, according to a new survey released by the Lowy Institute.

Last year's decline was preceded by a 47 percent drop from 2019 when the Chinese invested $1.57 billion in Australia.

"The United Nations reports that total foreign investment to Australia fell by 46 per cent, whereas foreign investment to Japan, China, India and some developed countries such as Sweden and Spain rose while investment to the United States and the United Kingdom plummeted".

Property investment firm Ironfish, which has offices across Australia and China, has seen real estate purchases from mainland China dip dramatically in recent years.

The drop is at least partly due to Australia's investment settings during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Armstrong said new Australian rules to screen investments for perceived risks to national security had a particularly chilling effect and could help explain the decline.

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Federal officials have cautioned that setting up the highly specialized manufacturing lines to produce vaccines would take months. It said it would instead focus its work on developing treatments for COVID-19.

Previously, a review only applied for "non-sensitive" transactions if the investment was worth $930m, or $213m for investors from countries without a free trade agreement with Australia.

Chinese company Mengniu abandoned a deal to buy the Australia dairy firm Lion Dairy and Drinks from Japanese company Kirin in August, after the Australian government indicated it would block the sale.

Last April, Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the virus, and China reacted with fury and warned of a boycott on Australian goods.

Since then, China has dealt a series of trade blows, with everything from barley to timber, wine and rock lobsters being slapped with sanctions.

The latest figures come against a backdrop of increased diplomatic tensions tensions between Australia and China. In some cases, the tariffs of wine have been more than 200%.

The tensions have also had an impact on coal, with dozens of coal ships stranded off China's coast unable to unload their cargo.

This has caused alarm in Australia as China is its biggest trading partner, accounting for close to 40% of exports.

Under one third described Australian media's coverage of China as fair and balanced.

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