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Chinese investment is on rise: Wong

AAP logoAAP 16/08/2016

Australia's economic relationship with China is important to strengthening political relationships between the two nations, senior Labor figure Penny Wong believes.

That includes accepting Chinese investment in Australia, the senator said in her first major speech since becoming opposition international affairs spokeswoman.

The trend in coming years would be for an increasing proportion of capital to be sourced from China.

"This investment will help build new businesses and create new jobs in Australia, just as past waves of investment from Britain, the United States and Japan have done," Senator Wong told the Melbourne launch of a major report on the Australia-China economic relationship.

"There will be debates about the merits of individual investment proposals and Australia will, and should, retain the right to consider whether major investments in sensitive sectors are in the national interest."

The report - handed to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday - has called for more to be done to ease public concerns about foreign investment and give Chinese investors "equal treatment".

It comes in the wake of the treasurer's preliminary decision to block two Chinese bidders from the sale of a 99-year lease on NSW's Ausgrid electricity network.

Senator Wong said a deeper bilateral relationship on all fronts with China would let Australia make sure the Asian giant engaged with international order.

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