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China suspends financial dialogue with Australia ‘indefinitely’ amid spat over Belt & Highway Initiative

Beijing has axed a high-level channel for financial talks with Canberra, blasting Australian leaders for a “Chilly Battle mentality” after the nation canceled two contracts linked to its Belt and Highway challenge.

In a hardly worded assertion on Thursday, China’s financial planner, the Nationwide Improvement and Reform Fee, the China-Australia Strategic Financial Dialogue could be paused indefinitely.

“Just lately, some Australian Commonwealth Authorities officers launched a sequence of measures to disrupt the conventional exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia out of Chilly Battle mindset and ideological discrimination,” the assertion learn.

Ties, and particularly commerce relations, between the 2 states have steadily frayed in latest months, seeing Beijing threaten financial retaliation after Canberra demanded a global probe into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, which was first detected within the Chinese language metropolis of Wuhan in late 2019.




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The connection has solely deteriorated since, with Australian officers scrapping two offers beforehand inked between Beijing and the state of Victoria for China’s Belt and Highway in March. Overseas Minister Marise Payne mentioned the contracts had been “inconsistent with Australia’s international coverage or opposed to our international relations,” invoking powers created by laws handed final yr that permits the FM to veto agreements with different nations.

In response, Beijing mentioned the transfer was “sure to deliver additional injury to bilateral relations,” making good on that prediction with Thursday’s choice to scrap the financial dialogue.

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