Possible end of Chinese port lease: Dutton | Blue Mountains Gazette
The Darwin port lease is one of many deals with China and Foreign Secretary Marise Payne could consider ending after tearing up the Victoria’s the Belt and Road initiative with the Asian giant last week.
The Government of the Northern Territory signed a 99-year lease for the port of Darwin to a Chinese company in 2015.
“There are literally thousands of these cases to review and the Foreign Secretary is working on all of them,” Defense Minister Peter Dutton told ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.
“I’m not planning or suggesting that she look at it. I think it’s a matter of Marise looking at these individual cases. If it’s not in our national interest, then obviously she will act.”
The decision to end Victoria’s infrastructure initiative with China was the latest twist in growing Sino-Australian tensions.
In the region, there are concerns of a looming battle by China to retake Taiwan.
“I don’t think it should be ruled out, I think China has been very clear on reunification and this is one of its long-standing goals,” Dutton said.
“If you look at the rhetoric that is coming from Chinese spokespersons, especially in recent weeks and months in response to the various suggestions that have been made, they have been very clear on this goal.”
He said there was a significant amount of activity and animosity between Taiwan and China.
“For us, we want to make sure we continue to be a good neighbor in the region, to work with our partners and with our allies,” he said.
“No one wants to see a conflict between China and Taiwan or anywhere.”
Australian Associated Press