China opposes Australia's cancelling of Belt and Road deals
Updated 20:00, 22-Apr-2021

China has expressed strong displeasure and resolute opposition to Australia's cancelling of two cooperation deals between its state of Victoria and China under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne announced on Wednesday night that the BRI deal that Victoria state signed with China has been cancelled under the country's new foreign veto laws.

The move is the first use of the new power which allows the federal government to unilaterally veto deals it views as contrary to the national interest.

Wang Wenbin, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, stated at Thursday's news briefing that the Australian government's unreasonable intervention against the common exchanges and cooperation projects between Victoria and China seriously harms the mutual trust between the two countries.

According to Wang, the BRI cooperation deals, under the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, are an example of win-win cooperation that helps advance the well-being of the two peoples.

Stressing that China reserves the right to make a further response, Wang urged the Australian side to discard its Cold War mentality and ideological biases, treat bilateral cooperation in a rational manner. correct its wrongdoing and refrain from going too far on the wrong track.

The Chinese Embassy in Australia also expressed its position in a statement on Wednesday.

"The BRI is an initiative for economic cooperation, which follows the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and upholds the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and transparency," the statement said. 

The statement added that Australia's move is another unreasonable and provocative action taken by the Australian side against China, is bound to bring further damage to bilateral relations and will only end up hurting itself.

The Australian government has also vetoed a 2004 deal with Iran and a scientific deal with Syria.

Canberra said it found the agreements "inconsistent" with Australia's foreign policy.

The BRI is a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure scheme launched in 2013 by China. It involves development and investment projects with countries along the ancient Silk Road trade routes that stretch from Asia to Europe, Africa and beyond.

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