Tue, 22 Jun 2021

China suspends economic accord with Australia

06 May 2021, 13:55 GMT+10

Beijing [China], May 6 (ANI): China has decided to suspend all its activities under the Strategic Economic Dialogue with Australia, a move that is likely to exacerbate the tense diplomatic relations between the two countries.

"China indefinitely suspends all activities under the framework of the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue held by the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission and relevant Australian ministries," China Global Television Network (CGTN) said in a tweet.

This decision comes a few weeks after Australia scraped the controversial Belt and Road (BRI) agreement with China citing the deal as against its national interest.

Last month, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said that the BRI deal has been canceled under the Commonwealth's new foreign veto laws. The cancellation could also mean an end to further Sino-Australian cooperation in the fields of industrial production, biotechnology and agriculture, reported DW.

Meanwhile, China had said that Australia's decision to cancel agreements between Beijing's flagship Belt and Road Initiative and the state of Victoria was among several "negative moves" that had hurt bilateral relations.

According to South China Morning Post, China's top diplomat who is in Canberra currently, blamed Australia for deteriorating ties between the nations, accusing it of economic coercion and "provocations" in a wide-ranging speech that painted Beijing as a victim.

Sino-Australian relations have been in a downward spiral since April last year when Canberra infuriated Beijing by proposing an independent international inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canberra has been locked in an ongoing trade war with Beijing for several months as China has slapped sanctions on various Australian products. (ANI)

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