|Chinese FM Spokesperson: The Responsibility of the Drop in Chinese Investment in Australia Fully Rests with the Australian Side|
At a regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China on 27 October, spokesperson Zhao Lijian answered a question about reported decrease of Chinese investment in Australia.
Journalist: It is reported that Chinese investment in Australia went down by 61% in 2020. The Department Of Foreign Affairs And Trade of Australia is working on a plan to diversify foreign investment to fill the gap of nosedived investment from China. What is your comment?
Zhao Lijian: The responsibility of the drop in Chinese investment in Australia fully rests with the Australian side. For a while, some in Australia have been politicizing and stigmatizing normal economic and trade cooperation between China and Australia at every turn and wantonly restricting normal bilateral exchange and cooperation. This has disrupted the sound momentum of practical cooperation and dampened Chinese companies' confidence in investing in Australia. Some people in Australian also claimed that China's investment in Australia went down last year. But the fact is, in 2020, China's outward direct investment (ODI) was 153.71 billion dollars, up by 12.3% year on year, ranking the first in the world for the first time.
As I said, China's ODI went up by over 12% year on year, but Australia attracted 61% less Chinese investment. The comparison speaks volumes. The Chinese government encourages Chinese enterprises to conduct investment and cooperation overseas in line with market principles, international rules and local laws. We will also firmly safeguard the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies investing and operating overseas. We hope the Australian government will look at China-Australia cooperation in an objective and rational light, provide a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies in Australia, and do more things conducive to bilateral mutual trust and cooperation.