Pacific

Australian leader dismisses concerns about Chinese company

Australia's prime minister has dismissed public concerns revealed by a U.S. poll about a Chinese company leasing a strategically important Australian port.

The Australian newspaper reported Wednesday that the U.S. State Department had polled Australians via test message about their opinions about Chinese company Landbridge securing a 99-year lease over the Port of Darwin.

The newspaper says almost half those surveyed said allowing a Chinese company to manage the port posed "a lot of risk" to national security.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says defense and security officials had determined that the deal struck last year did not threaten national interests.

U.S. Ambassador to Australia John Berry says the State Department "conducts public opinion polls in countries around the world to supplement available polling and help us understand international perspectives."