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China's growth not threat to Australia: expert
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2011-09-20 09:38

An international business and strategic management expert has brushed aside some concerns over Australia's national security following the rapid rise in foreign direct investment (FDI) from China in recent years, saying that China's growth is not a threat to Australia.

Amid fear of foreign control over Australia's infrastructure, strategic industries and natural resource, China has recently published a white paper on the country's development, stressing that peaceful development is China's strategic choice to realize modernization, making itself strong and prosperous and make more contribution to the progress of human civilization.

Associate Professor Cherrie Jiuhua Zhu, Director of international business and strategic management discipline group at Australia's Monash University, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua recently that China's development is not a threat to either Australia's national security, or the economy.

Professor Zhu made the remarks in response to the Lowy Institute reports published in 2009 and 2010, which showed about 50 percent of Australians think the government has allowed too many Chinese companies invest in local business, with another 50 percent believe China's rapid development could form a threat to other nations.

"But in reality, once you look at foreign investment from other countries, Chinese are only a small percentage," she said.

There have also been critics expressing concerns that multinational enterprises (MNEs) from emerging markets, such as China, could apply their lower domestic standards in Australia to the detriment of workers, local companies and the environment.

Professor Zhu, also the Director of China Research Program at Monash University, argued that Chinese companies have no intention to apply their traditional standards in Australia, and thus, do not pose a threat to the local industry standard.

"Chinese companies do not have intention to exploit or to transfer their own practices in Australia. The reason Chinese economy would like to invest in Australia is because they want us to help them understand how workforce should be managed in this country so they can learn, and how to deal with local people here, " she said.

The recently published white paper said China hopes the international communities will have confidences in the Chinese people's sincerity and the determination to achieve peaceful development, to support rather than obstruct China's pursue of peaceful development.

Australian federal government has earlier indicated that China' s economic development contributed to Australia's positive GDP growth, and Professor Zhu agreed, saying that China has played an important role in Australia's economy.

She said Chinese investments are significant, as their MNEs may in the future generate added value by processing or refining mineral resources in Australia.

"If Chinese companies can understand how to manage a local workforce by selecting and utilizing appropriate practices for their subsidiaries in Australia, they may also be convinced that establishing processing enterprises in Australia is a viable proposition," she said. "This additional investment would have a major positive effect on Australian regional development, income and employment."

Meanwhile, she added that it is a good time for Chinese government to release the white paper in a move to emphasize the country's national strategy, "otherwise, where the ignorance and the bias could have been easily form this type of forgeries blocking China to expand to the international market."

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