China State Construction Engineering Corporation pulled its nearly $300m bid for the Australian-based but South African-owned Probuild after the Treasurer indicated before Christmas that the acquisition would be turned down on national interest grounds.
The Australian understands the state-owned company’s link to the Chinese military was the key reason behind the Treasurer’s objections.
News of the decision sparked an angry reaction from the Chinese embassy which said that “if the reports proved true, this is the latest case that Chinese investment is discriminately targeted”.
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A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman called the decision political.
The Australian government’s move comes after months of simmering tensions with China, which reacted angrily after Scott Morrison called for an independent investigation into the source of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. China has imposed trade restrictions on a series of Australian products including beef, barley, seafood, timber and wine.
China has accused OZ of "weaponizing" trade. Lmao