It may not be inaccurate to say that the biggest beneficiary of China's spectacular quarter century of growth has been Australia. Its economy boomed on the back of China's insatiable appetite for mineral resources, with annual exports touching $100 bn at its peak. But while the slowdown in China has reduced the demand for coal and iron ore, a new relationship is developing,
Attracted by clean air, a strong education system and worries about China’s future, more Chinese are spending their money in Australia. Thousands of Chinese families have sent their children to study at costly Australian universities, and Australian food exports to China have boomed. Chinese investment in Australian real estate has increased at least tenfold since 2010; Chinese investors have purchased up to half the new apartments in downtown Melbourne and Sydney. That has led to some soul-searching about the role of Chinese money in the country’s political and economic life. Businesses linked to China have become sizable donors to Australian political parties, and a company said to have links to the Chinese military obtained a 99-year lease last year for a port next to a base that often houses United States Marines.
And the scale of Chinese investments in Australian real estate, as is true of everything Chinese, is staggering,
Australian government data shows that it approved $18.2 billion in Chinese real estate investments in the year that ended June 30, 2015, twice as much as the year before, and more than triple the total last year for the United States, which was the second-largest overseas investor. And developers say that a lot more Chinese money is quietly flowing into Australian real estate without government approvals.