China dangles $39bn carrot to build city on our doorstep

A Chinese company says it wants to build a new $39bn city with a major seaport, industrial area and free-trade zone on Papua New Guinea’s south coast, just kilometres from Australian territory.

The “New Daru City” proposal will escalate concerns within Australian security agencies over China’s interest in PNG’s impoverished Western Province, where another Chinese company plans to build a $200m fisheries industrial park.

Hong Kong-registered WYW Holding, a developer of Myanmar’s New Yangon City, has asked PNG Prime Minister James Marape to approve the development under a “Build Operate Transfer” arrangement, where PNG would receive the assets after an unspecified period of Chinese ownership and management.

“We hope that you and your government will agree to engage with us on this ambitious plan which is, as you are aware, predicated on an agreed Sovereign Guarantee based on a long-term BOT contract between and for the ­mutual benefit of both parties,” company chief executive Terrance Mo said in a letter to Mr Marape last April.



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