/ 22 April 2021

Government tightens belt on China deal

In a new test for Australia’s relationship with China, the federal government yesterday used its veto powers to tear up the Belt and Road deals between Victoria and Beijing. The agreements have long been in the federal government’s sights to cancel, and yesterday, Foreign Minister Marise Payne confirmed the decision saying they were “inconsistent with Australia’s foreign policy or adverse to our foreign relations”. The cancellation covers a memorandum of understanding that the Labor premier, Daniel Andrews, signed with Beijing in 2018, which would have allowed for Chinese investment in Victoria and for Victorian companies to participate in Chinese government projects overseas. China reacted swiftly overnight, warning the decision would jeopardise any efforts to recover recent tensions between the 2 nations. “It is bound to bring further damage to bilateral relations and will only end up hurting itself,” said a Chinese embassy spokesperson. #SquizShortcuts

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