авг 11, 2016

Australia risks Chinese anger over power grid sale

Australia's decision to preliminarily block Chinese and Hong Kong bidders from taking a controlling stake in Ausgrid, the country's largest Australia network, over national security concerns, is likely to be met with outrage and indignation in China. The Chinese don't like being snubbed.

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That's not surprising - after all, who likes being dumped? And this is starting to look like a recurring pattern. Australia's move comes as the UK has postponed approval for the Hinkley point nuclear power project, in which China's General Nuclear Power Corp will have a minority stake, on similar concerns.

CGN is also accused of leading a conspiracy to steal American power industry secrets to speed up the development and production of Chinese reactor technology. Szuhsiung Ho, a senior adviser to CGN, is due in court in the US next week, and is accused of recruiting American experts to obtain sensitive nuclear technology for China, in a plot that prosecutors say threatened US security.
But the UK's snub has already had serious consequences - verbally at least. Writing in the Financial Times, China's ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaming has said the delay to approving the plant had brought the two countries to a "crucial historical juncture."
He hinted that "mutual trust" could be in jeopardy if the UK government decided not to approve the deal.


BBC News
Karishma Vaswani
Asia business correspondent