(Repeats story from Sunday, no changes to text)
By Sue-Lin Wong
HANGZHOU, China, Sept 4 China hopes Australia
can provide a fair and transparent environment for foreign
investors, President Xi Jinping said on Sunday, as he met
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the first time
since Canberra blocked a major deal.
Australia angered China last month after Turnbull's
government stopped the A$10 billion ($7.57 billion) sale of the
country's biggest energy grid to Chinese bidders after they
failed to overcome security concerns.
After a meeting on the sidelines of a G20 summit in the
eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, Xi said China "hopes the
Australian side continues to dedicate itself to providing
foreign investors a fair, transparent and predictable policy
"This also accords with Australia's own interests," China's
Foreign Ministry quoted Xi as telling Turnbull.
The decision has caused a rift between Australia and its
biggest trading partner. China has accused Australia of bowing
to protectionist sentiment in blocking the bid for Ausgrid, as
well as an earlier one by a China-led consortium to buy cattle
company Kidman & Co.
Speaking to reporters later, Turnbull said China understood
as well if not better than anyone else that it was Australia's
sovereign right to determine who invests there and the terms in
which they invest.
"China has more freedom to invest in Australia, indeed all
foreigners have more freedom to invest in Australia, than in
almost any other country. We have a very open foreign investment
policy," Turnbull said.
"So we mostly say yes, we almost invariably say yes, but
from time to time we say no and we make no bones about that and
China respects that."
He added that the Ausgrid case was not specifically
mentioned in the meeting.
Australia, a staunch U.S. ally, has also drawn criticism
from China for running surveillance flights over disputed
islands in the South China Sea, and supporting U.S. freedom of
navigation exercises there.
Xi said China and Australia should respect each other's
"choices in their development paths and each other's core
interests and major interests", the foreign ministry added.
Turnbull said he discussed the South China Sea with Xi, and
the importance of complying with international law.
"We're a good friend of China and good friends are very
honest with each other," he added.
"We are consistent and our position is very clear that we
expect and encourage all parties to comply with the rule of law,
to show restraint and not act in a way that would exacerbate or
($1 = 1.3210 Australian dollars)
(Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel and Kim