China puts weapons on its new artificial islands

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China has moved weaponry onto artificial islands that it is building in contested areas of the South China Sea, adding to the risks of a confrontation with the United States and its regional security partners including Australia.

Australian officials are concerned that China could also introduce long-range radar, anti-aircraft guns and regular surveillance flights that will enable it to project military power across a maritime expanse which include some of Australia’s busiest trading lanes. Continue reading

Australia for sale: Investment bankers cashing in on Tony Abbott’s infrastructure push

You don’t necessarily sell your farm to finance building a road that won’t produce revenue leading back to the very same farm that is now not yours unless times are extremely hard. This compromise of Australian national security is likely a good buying opportunity for the Chinese who would love to purchase more influence in Oceana. The implications of this will span generations — all for a short-term gain.

 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is turning out to be an investment banker’s best friend.

His center-right government is in the midst of an unprecedented push to build public infrastructure — and to finance the program, regional authorities are busy selling off state assets, creating a boon for bankers just as Australian corporate mergers and acquisitions slow. Banks including Macquarie Group Ltd., Morgan Stanley and UBS AG have been hired to sell everything from ports to electricity grids, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Advisory fees from the biggest asset sales may reach about $100 million, almost triple the total haul for government-related work last year, estimates Jeffrey Nassof, an analyst at New York-based Freeman & Co. Continue reading