Australian Government Cancels Victoria’s Belt and Road Agreement with China, angering Beijing
The Australian government has canceled two accords between Victoria State and china on the Belt and Road initiative, escalating trade and diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Canberra.
Victoria state has signed a memorandum understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative with the Chinese government in October, the only government in Australia to sign up for the Chinese initiative.
In total, four pacts were canceled two with china and one each with Iran (2004) and Syria (1999), all signed by the Victorian government.
“I consider these four arrangements to be inconsistent with Australia’s foreign policy or adverse to our foreign relations,” Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in her statement.
China has slammed Australia’s decision to cancel agreements between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Victoria state government.
The Chinese embassy in Australia criticized the move by Foreign Minister Marise Payne to veto two agreements signed by Victoria state as “provocative” and said it would further damage ties.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman responded by urging Australia to abandon its “Cold War mentality and ideological bias” and “immediately correct its mistakes and change course”.
Diplomatic relations between China and Australia have worsened since Canberra called for an international investigation into the origins of Covid-19 in April 2020.
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