Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull dined with a Chinese businessman in Brisbane just days after one of the executive’s companies declared a $40,000 donation to the Liberal National Party ahead of the Queensland state election.
Liu Xiaodong is a director of Gold Coast-based company Australian Energy Windfarm and chairman of China-based renewable energy firm Heilongjiang Ainaji Dianli Co Ltd, which owns 100 per cent of AEW and is seeking other investment opportunities in Queensland.
A photograph was taken of Mr Turnbull and 11 guests.
The donation was declared with the Electoral Commission of Queensland on November 15.
Mr Turnbull told reporters in Canberra on Friday he did not recall having a detailed discussion with Mr Liu.
“His English was very limited, so we didn’t have a detailed discussion, but he was there,” Mr Turnbull said.
“And obviously we have a lot of Chinese investment in Australia.”
Asked about the conversation with Mr Liu, Mr Turnbull said: “It was a general discussion about the economy. I don’t recall. Certainly nothing of particularity about investment policies of that kind were raised.”
Mr Turnbull, who launched the government’s foreign policy white paper on Thursday, noted there were occasions when foreign investment did not get approval because of national interest issues.
The white paper commits the government to ensuring “that national decision-making is transparent and our institutions remain free from foreign interference”.
“This is one of our most important national interests.”