Australian defense officials are reviewing a Chinese firm’s 99-year lease of Darwin Port in northern Australia due to “national security” concerns, an Australian government source told Reuters on Monday.
“Defense officials are looking into whether the Landbridge Group, which is owned by Chinese billionaire Ye Cheng, should be forced to give up its ownership of Darwin Port on national security grounds,” the source told Reuters.
“Advice has been sought on the port and that will go to national security committee in due time,” the source added.
Major changes to Australia’s foreign investment laws went into effect in January allowing the government “the retrospective power to impose new conditions or even force a divestment on deals that have already been approved,” Reuters noted. The changes are largely designed to better protect Australian national security.
Landbridge Group won a bidding process in September 2015 to operate Darwin Port on