In 2016, I wrote about the recent purchase by a China-based company of a 99-year lease on parts of the port of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory. The company, Landbridge, would execute the terms of the lease, which included port operations and a commercial fuel depot at a location close to where the U.S. Marines are deployed to Darwin, through an Australian subsidiary set up for the purpose.
Landbridge has connections to the Communist Party through its interactions with government officials in its homebase of Rizhao, a port city in Shandong Province. The company’s owner, Ye Cheng, has also referred to Landbridge’s port lease in Darwin as Landbridge’s participation in Xi Jinping’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative – certainly not evidence of detachment by the company from the Party. One Belt, One Road is a government project, not the vision of Chinese “private” industry (to the extent there ever was such a thing, or still could be a year on from the Xi regime’s comprehensive 2021 business crackdown).
When the Landbridge deal was being negotiated, Continue reading “U.S. bombers to Australia: New deployment, old issue”