Tit for tat: China scraps economic accord with Australia

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: May 06, 2021, 09:41 AM(IST)

Australia-China Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue has been suspended "based on the current attitude" of the Australian government, China stated

In a tit-for-tat move, China has suspended an economic agreement with Australia a few weeks after Canberra scrapped a Belt and Road infrastructure pact.

The China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue has been suspended "based on the current attitude" of the Australian government, China's National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement on Thursday.

China has also accused some officers of Australia of "cold war mindset" and "ideological discrimination", vowing that the country will "indefinitely suspend all activities under the framework" under this agreement.

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Australia had, at one point, described this accord as a "premier bilateral economic meetings with China". However, with time the relations between the two countries have hit a low point, leading to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison scrapping the Belt and Road Initiative between China and the state of Victoria.

This decision by the Morrison government had angered China, who had warned Australia about consequences and had claimed the pullout from BRI will cause "serious harm" to the relationship between the two countries.

As the Australian dollar took to dip of 0.6 per cent after China’s actions, Scott Morrison-led government is now reviewing the Chinese company's controversial 99-year-lease on Darwin Port — which could be another China’s project to be scrapped by Morrison soon.

Port Darwin is one of the most important ports on Australia’s north coast as it is the closest to Asia and acts as a base for US marines. However, Defence Minister Peter Dutton has claimed that his department has been asked to "come back with some advice" and has also hinted that there are chances the Chinese firm might be asked to divest, citing national security concerns.

(With inputs from agencies)

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