onsdag 2. juni 2021

China Weighs New Measures to Punish Australia

China may be running out of retaliatory steps that it can afford to take against Australia after cutting off communications on economic affairs with its key commodity supplier this month. On May 6, China's top planning agency announced that it had suspended all contacts under its bilateral Strategic Economic Dialogue with Australia "indefinitely." "Recently, some Australian Commonwealth Government officials launched a series of measures to disrupt the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia out of Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination," the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement.

China's Ministry of Commerce adviser Mei Xinyu blamed the cutoff on the "wildness of Australian politicians," while Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin cited an "insane suppression targeting China-Australia cooperation," the Daily Mail and Reuters reported. Although no specific reasons were given, the references were to Prime Minister Scott Morrison's decision in April to cancel the state of Victoria's agreement to cooperate with China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Beijing's far- reaching trade and infrastructure building program was not in Australia's "national interest," Morrison said.