Retaliating angrily over cancellation of Belt and Road deal, China Thursday cut off diplomatic contact with Australia under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue.
It is the first major response from the Chinese government since the Australia cancelled Victoria’s Belt and Road agreement in April.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission in a strongly worded statement held the Morrison government’s attitude towards the relationship responsible for this move.
“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”, Chinese Commission said in statement.
On April 21, Morrison government had cancelled Victorian government Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) deals with China under new Commonwealth veto laws terming the deal adverse to Australian foreign policy drawing a swift condemnation from Beijing.
“Based on the current attitude of the Australian Commonwealth Government toward China-Australia cooperation, the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China decides to indefinitely suspend all activities under the framework of the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue jointly held by the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China and relevant ministries of the Australian Commonwealth Government”, the Commission concluded.
The last China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue was held in 2017 and now all high-level ministerial communications have now been effectively frozen by China’s government.