Alan Dupont quoted in WSJ article:
ARTICLE— Australia’s federal government has canceled an infrastructure deal between China and one of Australia’s most populous states, following concerns that the arrangement could pose a national-security risk.
The state of Victoria, which includes Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, signed on to Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative, a foreign-policy program in which China is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure projects world-wide.
Leaders in Victoria previously said the deal would increase investment and create jobs. But officials in Canberra, the capital, have been worried China is using the initiative to build influence, according to academics and former diplomats.
“The federal government wants as much as it can to have a unified position on key China foreign policy questions,” said Richard Maude, executive director of policy at Asia Society Australia, and a former senior Australian diplomat. “They don’t want the national government position being undercut by things that state governments might be doing.”