China is buying up Australian land, infrastructure and businesses at an alarming rate as it seeks to project power and influence beyond its shores.
The communist nation of 1.4billion people owns an airport in Western Australia, nine million hectares of Australian land, several Aussie coalmines and wind farms and even the Port of Darwin, a key strategic asset.
China is also the largest foreign owner of Australian water and has projected soft power Down Under by planting Communist Party-approved Mandarin teachers in schools and universities.
Last week ‘disturbing’ stories emerged that China tried to install a spy as a federal MP – and it is also suspected of carrying out major cyber attacks on Parliament.
As experts warn that China ‘will not stop’ meddling in Australian politics and its state-sponsored companies lock their sights on more Aussie businesses, here Daily Mail Australia charts which of our precious resources have already been lost.
In 1993, China’s biggest airline, state-owned China Southern Airlines, paid the Western Australian government $1 to lease Merredin airport for 100 years to use as a training school for its pilots.
The rural airport, 260km east of Perth, only had two gravel airstrips – but after Chinese investment is now a multimillion-dollar all-weather airfield providing jobs in the region.
However, experts have raised concerns about letting a foreign government control airspace in Australia.
Local pilots say they have never been turned down when they request to land – but in theory China Southern could stop them using the airport at any time.