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Beijing “indefinitely suspends” China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue

In the increasingly acrimonious trade war with Australia, Beijing has fired another salvo, accusing Canberra of “ideological discrimination”. Beijing has struck another blow for Australian trade and diplomatic relations, announcing it will “indefinitely suspend” all activities under a binding agreement between China and Australia. The Chinese Government said the halt was due to Australia’s “ideological discrimination” against the country on Thursday.

It’s the latest salvo in the increasing spat between Beijing and Canberra.

According to Reuters, China’s state economic planner said on Thursday that it had decided to halt all activities under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue. The strategic economic dialogue, formed in 2014, is the leading bilateral economic forum between China and Australia. It has encouraged investment between the two nations and smooth trade and finance talks.

Australia’s “ideological discrimination.”

“Recently, some Australian Commonwealth Government officials launched a series of measures to disrupt the normal exchanges and co-operation between China and Australia out of Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination,” the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement explaining the decision.


The Australian dollar fell upon the announcement.

However, suspending the dialogue does not affect current trade between China and Australia. For instance, the announcement saw no new tariffs levied on Australian imports. Additionally, the conference hasn’t been met since September 2017.

China-Australia relations at “all-time low.”

Beijing had warned it would “respond firmly and forcefully” to the Federal Government’s scrapping of Victoria’s cooperation deal with China on its flagship Belt and Road infrastructure grand plan.

On Thursday, the Chinese Communist mouthpiece of the Global Times said relations between Beijing and Canberra had “sunk to an all-time low in recent days” due to the ending of the Belt and Road deal which was seen as a “provocative move against China,”.

Earlier this week, the Government said it was examining whether the lease of Darwin Port to a Chinese company should also be annulled on security grounds. On Monday, the Defence Department said it sought security advice on firm Landbridge’s custodianship of the port.

“If there is advice from the Defence Department or our security agencies that change their view about the national security implications of any critical infrastructure, we have legislation now dealing with critical infrastructure,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

China has slapped tariffs on Australian goods and held perishable products up at ports. Wine, coal, and even lobsters have been hit. That move came after Australia called for the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic to be investigated. However, trade between the two countries has increased, largely due to China’s iron ore import. Relations between the two nations have been frozen for several years. Beijing was infuriated when Australia became one of the first nations to ban Huawei from working on 5G technology.

Chinese ministers have not received calls from their Australian counterparts for over a year.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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