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‘Resource imperialism’ plundering PNG assets

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier,Sept. 30, 2011) – Leading American investment analyst James Dines has criticised Australia for allowing China to buy large swathes of its natural resources in what he calls "resource imperialism".

Australia was in danger of squandering it's "irreplaceable inheritance ... traded for easily printed paper", Mr Dines said.

Mr Dines, the keynote speaker this week at the RIU Victorian Resources Roundup conference, told an audience of mining executives, brokers and investors that the end of capitalism as we knew it had arrived and that we were in the second great economic depression.

His entertaining, if alarming, speech would have prompted mixed feelings among a crowd that included executives with a strong Chinese presence on their share registries.

State-owned Chinese companies are also becoming a major foreign investor in Australia.

Mr Dines, editor of the Dines Letter and author of numerous books, described natural resources, including farmland, as a source of real wealth that should be kept for "your descendants".

By pursuing resource imperialism, China was building stockpiles of commodities well above its immediate needs, such as rare earths - it already produces 97 per cent of the world total - and copper.

The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board blocked a $252 million bid by state-owned China Nonferrous Metal Mining to acquire Australian rare earth miner Lynas in 2009.

So, what is motivating China?

The world's most populous country wants to secure its resource needs for centuries to come.

Instead of seizing the means of production, as Karl Marx advocated, the Chinese Communist Party was legally buying it in what Mr Dines believes is the end of capitalism as we know it.

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