Beijing suspends economic agreement with Canberra due to “deep tension”


On Thursday, China announced the suspension of part of its economic cooperation with Australia, amid deep tension with Canberra, which announced last month that it wanted to cancel an agreement on the Chinese “Silk Roads” project. The influential Chinese planning agency said in a statement that this Australian position “aims to disrupt normal exchanges and cooperation with China, in the mentality of a cold war and ideological discrimination.”
Beijing decided to suspend “the Sino-Australian Strategic Economic Dialogue” and “all activities” related to it indefinitely, according to the statement. Tensions between the two countries have continued to escalate since 2018 due to disagreements on an increasing number of issues, from the technology of the fifth generation (5G) network to accusations of espionage, to the Hong Kong file and the origin of the Corona virus.
In this tense context, the Australian federal government announced last month that it is ending an agreement signed by the state of Victoria (southeastern Australia) to join the “New Silk Roads”. This project was launched in 2013 at the initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, and aims to improve trade links between Asia, Europe, Africa and even beyond by building ports, railways, airports and industrial complexes.


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