Eoin Treacy's view -
The Australian federal government scrapped both the memorandum of understanding and framework agreement signed between Victoria and China’s National Development and Reform Commission, Beijing’s top economic planning body, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in an emailed statement Wednesday. She described the deals as “inconsistent with Australia’s foreign policy or adverse to our foreign relations.”
The step “is another unreasonable and provocative move taken by the Australian side against China,” the Chinese embassy in Canberra said in an emailed statement. “It further shows that the Australian government has no sincerity in improving China-Australia relations -- it is bound to bring further damage to bilateral relations, and will only end up hurting itself.”
Australia “basically fired the first major shot against China in trade and investment” conflicts, Chen Hong, director of the Australian Studies Center at East China Normal University in Shanghai, told the Communist Party-backed Global Times. “China will surely respond accordingly.”
China has lodged stern representations with Australia over the issue and reserved the right to take more action, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing Thursday in Beijing.
China may successfully be able to cow smaller countries into submission by following a carrot and stick approach to infrastructure and trade development. Australia is a different story.
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