Australia Cancels Agreements Under Belt and Road Initiative with China, China Calls It ‘Provocative’

    26-Apr-2021   
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The unilateral decision of the Australian government to cancel the agreements between the Victoria state and the National Development and Reform Commission of China has angered China.
 
China Friday termed the development “provocative”.
 
The agreement between the Victoria state and the NDRC was signed in October 2018 under the Belt and Road Initiative of China.
 
Another framework agreement signed in October 2019 has also been cancelled.
 
The Scott Morrison government of Australia defended its decision saying it was done to bring consistency in its foreign policy.
 
It also said that China was using the agreement with an Australian state as a propaganda tool to showcase it as a case of rift between the Union government of Australia and the state governments.
 
The Union government has passed a law where the right to review such agreements rests with the Union government.
The Australian government was also worried that the Chinese authorities were using BRI as a tool to debt-trap poor countries and hence reducing the influence of Australia in the region.
 
Chinese President Xi Jinping initiated the BRI project in 2013 with an aim to connect Asia to Africa and Europe through land and sea trade routes.
 
A trade war between the two countries is also going on where both are putting restrictions on each other's exports and imports.