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Blocking Ausgrid sale the 'correct decision', Ex-Aussie Deputy PM Swan says

Canberra's rejection of the sale of state-owned electricity infrastructure company Ausgrid to a Chinese consortium was the "correct decision" on grounds of national interests, former Australian Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan said.

"I don't believe the Chinese authorities would be too surprised by this decision," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday.

Wayne said the judgment was based on the asset being acquired and was not discriminatory of any particular investor.

Australia has always operated on guidelines governing whether foreign investments are of national interest and national security is one of the grounds on which the rules are set, he added.

AUSTRALIA AUSGRID
Jeremy Piper | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"Just because one project is ruled out on national security grounds doesn't mean to say there is a problem in the investment relationship," he added.

The Chinese government has criticized Australia's move to block the Ausgrid sale as a "protectionist" move but Wayne said the East Asian giant was likely understanding of the situation behind the scenes.

"I've personally dealt with the Chinese authorities on some issues dealing with national security and I found them very understanding about us applying national security grounds just as they would apply national security grounds when they make the judgments when those issues were at stake," he said.

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