AT least 10 Chinese companies have withdrawn foreign investment applications to buy into Australian resources companies after pressure from the Rudd Government.
The Government has in recent weeks made it plain privately that it wants more time to consider the issue of the national interest in terms of ownership of the Australian resources industry.
The Chinese companies have been politely but firmly given the unprecedented message that it would be preferable to back off and resubmit any such applications to the Foreign Investment Review Board at a later date.
The issue is being handled discreetly at high levels. Any outright rejection or publicly conceded delay would be extremely difficult politically, particularly given the great importance of China to the Australian economy.