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Posted Mon Feb 15 2010: from Washington Post:
China buying up Australia
Ton by ton, including more than 300 million tons of ore per year and vast quantities of liquid natural gas, China is buying Australia. One of the world's most staggeringly huge transfers of natural resources has both enriched and alarmed Australia, prompted a determined response from Washington and illustrated both China's savvy and ungainliness as it aggressively expands its influence around the world. A surging China has become Australia's No. 1 trading partner. It has pumped $40 billion worth of investments into the Australian economy in the past 18 months alone. China's 70,000 students help bankroll Australia's education system, and a half-million Chinese tourists a year keep Aussies employed as lifeguards, blackjack dealers and real estate brokers. Chinese trade and investment have insulated Australia from the global financial crisis more than any other developed nation. Australia is even speaking Chinese: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is the first Western leader to speak fluent Mandarin.... Lai Cunliang is the Chairman Mao-quoting chief of operations for a Chinese coal company that acquired an Australian competitor for $3 billion in the midst of the global financial crisis. "We've got capital, we've got talent and now," he said, "we're coming out. We are driving change."
[Read more stories about: coal issues, bad policy]

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