Singapore’s leading English paper has said that China is trying to “take the ‘Chinese’ out of Chinese investment.”
The Straits Times reports on widespread public concern about the fire-sale of Australian assets:
“Stories abound of Chinese turning up to famed Australian vineyards, carrying millions of dollars in cash in a duffle bag – to buy the vineyard, not just the wine. The Chinese binge for downtown residential property has driven up prices in Sydney and Melbourne, forcing local residents to look further afield.”
The public backlash has apparently led China to “adapt its strategy.” Now Chinese firms are more likely to team up with Australian companies, to give their dealmaking more of a local flavour.
Chinese politicians have also started to talk less about Chinese investment and more about “free trade” and “open economies.”
But as the Straits Times points out, this isn’t free trade it’s a totally one-way street. Of the big economies, China is second-worst in the world for restrictions on foreign investment, meaning we can’t go there and buy up THEIR assets.