Beijing/Sydney, May 6
China “indefinitely” suspended all activity under a China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, its state economic planner said on Thursday. This is the latest setback for strained relations between the two countries.
In US, India’s stance on Chinese firms hailed
- Washington: Top US lawmakers have applauded India’s decision to not allow Chinese telecom companies to conduct 5G trials in the country.
- “This is good news for the people of India and the world,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican and China Task Force Chairman Michael McCaul said.
It’s Cold War mentality: Beijing’s reform panel
China’s National Development and Reform Commission has said some Australian Commonwealth Government officials recently launched a series of measures to disrupt the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia out of Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination.
It was a necessary response to Australia for abusing the concept of national security. — Wang Wenbin, Foreign Ministry Spokesman
China also rejected criticism of its human rights and economic record by G7 members.
“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,” China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement on the decision. The commission did not say what specific measures prompted the action.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a daily conference that the suspension was a “necessary and legitimate response to Australia for abusing the concept of national security to pressure cooperation with China. “Australia must bear full responsibility,” he said.
The Australian dollar fell sharply on the news and was as low as 0.7701 to the United States dollar from Wednesday’s $0.7747.
Bilateral ties were strained in 2018 when Australia became the first country to publicly ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from its 5G network.
Relations worsened last year when Australia called for an independent investigation into the Covid origin, prompting trade reprisals from China.
Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said the commission’s decision was disappointing because the economic dialogue was “an important forum for Australia and China to work through issues relevant to our economic partnership”. “We remain open to holding the dialogue and engaging at the ministerial level,” he said in a statement. The last meeting was in Beijing in 2017, when Australia’s trade minister signed an agreement on cooperation on Belt and Road projects in third-party countries. Australia has, however, declined to sign agreements on direct participation in China’s flagship foreign policy initiative. — Reuters