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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 07 May, 2021

  • 5 Min Read

China halts economic dialogue with Australia

China halts economic dialogue with Australia

  • China cut off a channel for diplomatic and trade talks with Australia in a largely symbolic act of fury, following clashes over a wide range of issues, including human rights, espionage and the origins of COVID-19.
  • Tensions between the two sides have soared since Canberra called last year for an independent probe into the origins of the pandemic and banned telecom giant Huawei from building Australia’s 5G network.
  • China — Australia’s biggest trading partner — has already imposed tariffs or disrupted more than a dozen key industries, including wine, barley and coal, decimating exports.
  • In the latest volley, the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue was pulled “based on the current attitude” of the Australian government, China’s National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement on Thursday, blaming some officials of a “Cold War mindset” and “ideological discrimination”.
  • Beijing will “indefinitely suspend all activities under the framework” of the agreement, the statement added.
  • Australia called the decision “disappointing”, with Trade Minister Dan Tehan saying the dialogue had provided an important forum for the two countries — though he added that no such talks had taken place since 2017.
  • It was not immediately clear if the row would impact on a free-trade agreement between the two that came into effect in 2015.
  • Canberra has previously described the avenue for talks — designed to boost trade between both sides and introduce large Chinese investors — as one of the “premier bilateral economic meetings with China”.
  • It called the first meeting in 2014 a chance for “closer economic ties” but relations between the two have since sunk into deep freeze.

Source: TH


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