Australia’s department of defense is reviewing whether to scrap a contentious lease to a Chinese company of Darwin port, which is located close to a US Marines base, reported the Financial Times.
Washington has long expressed concern about the 99-year lease, which was sold by the Northern Territory government to Shandong-based Landbridge for A$506m in 2015.
The review was announced following a sharp deterioration in Australia-China ties, which prompted Canberra to rip up two Belt and Road Initiative deals between the Chinese and Victorian state governments last week.
Peter Dutton, Australia’s defense minister, confirmed the lease review in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday, saying he had asked his department to “come back with some advice” to ensure that government could “look at options that are in our national interests”.
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