From Favourable Treatments to Conflicts: Some Selected Case Studies of Chinese Investments in Australia

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Liang, Fuyuan (2021) From Favourable Treatments to Conflicts: Some Selected Case Studies of Chinese Investments in Australia. Research Master thesis, Victoria University.


A comprehensive and rigid analysis of Chinese investment in Australia for the past four decades is an under-researched topic, though there had been sporadic treatments of this subject matter from the perspective of single institutions in economics, politics, and culture. The neoliberalism era marked a honeymoon between China and Australia, which boosted the Chinese investments in Australia, marked by the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement and the ‘One Belt One Road Initiative’ Agreement, signed by the Victorian Government and the Chinese Development and Reform Commission. Recent years witnessed a deterioration of the Australia and China relationships and the “tit-for-tat” strategies and racism movements which discourage the Chinese investments in Australia. This study has developed a conceptual framework consisting of economic, political, cultural and institutional factors that may explain the Australian government’s decision of rejecting certain Chinese investments in recent years. Case studies were employed to illustrate the application of the conceptual framework. The findings suggest that the conceptual framework can be utilized to explain why the Australian government rejected certain Chinese investments. This research aims to analyze the determinants of Australia Government’s rejection of Chinese investment in Australia. Case studies in the field of the Australian mining sector, agriculture and agribusiness, and infrastructure unveil that political distrust towards Chinese investment in Australia is a major source of refusing Chinese investment. This led to continuous reduction of Chinese investment in Australia since 2016. Such political distrust which works against the national interest of the respective countries, may also drive the decline of Chinese investment in Australia. This research contributes to the literature by examining the factors which lead to the Australian Government’s decision to reject certain Chinese investments based on in depth analysis of case studies. This will be useful for understanding how to enlarge shared interest for policymakers, businessmen and academic researchers.

Additional Information

Master of Law

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3502 Banking, finance and investment
Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4407 Policy and administration
Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4803 International and comparative law
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Current > Division/Research > College of Law and Justice
Keywords Chinese investment, Australia, China, Australian government, case studies, policy, agriculture, agribusiness, infrastructure, international law
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