Misuse of national security hurts global economy

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Politicians in Australia and Canada, as well as those in some other Western countries, know what they are really concerned about when they use “national security” as a pretext to block a business deal or interrupt an otherwise normal operation of a business.

“National security” is a convenient label they stick on any business deal when they believe the interruption of such a deal will demonstrate their conformity to the political correctness required of them in their countries’ geopolitical games.

The 99-year lease of the Port of Darwin to Landbridge Group is a case in point. The Chinese company won the bid to operate the port in 2015 in a deal worth $506 million. Yet, because of the intervention of the United States, the current Australian government wants to annul the deal in the name of “national security.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the port lease was “undertaken by the former Territory government and it was a lease that was not approved by the federal government”.

However, a review of the deal by the Australian Defense Department found no grounds for the federal government to recommend the overturn of the lease. The defense department also undertook a review of a Chinese company acquiring 50 percent of shares in the Port of Newcastle back in March 2018 and had no concerns about the transaction.

Canada is doing the same. Ordering China Mobile International to divest its shares in its Canadian subsidiary, China Mobile International Canada, or terminate its business. It too has applied the political label of national security to justify the move.

The fact that quite a number of business deals involving Chinese enterprises that were of no cause for concern years ago but are now being viewed as national security risks speaks volumes about the change of political attitude on the part of governments of these countries.

Ideological orientation has taken precedence over everything else, with the consequence that normal business and trade deals are being politicized.

The abuse of “national security” as a political label runs counter to the principles of a market economy and fair competition. Such a practice, which is blatantly against market and trade rules, not only disrupts the normal operation of the global economy, but also does a disservice to the development of individual economies.

Render onto Caesar things that are Caesar’s and onto God the things that are God’s. Politicization of economic or trade deals hurts not only the reputation of Western politicians but the interest of their own people as well.

-The Daily Mail-China Daily News Exchange Item