The Greens motion to the Federal Government to block the $30 billion deal between Rio Tinto and the Chinese state-owned company Chinalco was defeated in the Senate yesterday.
Chinalco is trying to increase its stake in the mining giant to 18%, but needs approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown moved the motion after learning the Chinese Government had the power to appoint and remove Chinalco’s executive staff.
“It is hazardous for the Treasurer to entertain the proposed deal between Rio Tinto and Chinalco when the Communist dictatorship will be pulling the strings behind the scenes.”
Senator Brown said the Federal Government should only approve the deal if it can guarantee Chinalco will be free from Chinese Government interference.
Rio Tinto investors have been broadly opposed to the deal, which would see Chinalco take stakes in assets like the Hamersley Iron operation in Western Australia.