Sci-tech

Activities suspended under China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue

Activities suspended under China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue”

Relations have been on the decline since Australia called for a probe into the origins of the virus and banned Huawei from building its 5G network.

China said on Thursday that it has chose to indefinitely suspend all activities under the framework of the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue jointly held by the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and relevant Australian ministries.

Beijing will "indefinitely suspend all activities under the framework" of the agreement, the statement added.

Tehan, however, admitted that no such talks had taken place since 2017.

The Australian government has previously described the deal - created to boost trade between both sides and introduce large Chinese investors - as one of the "premier bilateral economic meetings with China".

"We believe the iron ore trading relationship between Australia and China will remain ring-fenced in relation to current political tensions between the two nations", said Atilla Widnell, managing director at Singapore-based Navigate Commodities Ptd Ltd.

More news: Multiple people reported trapped after rail overpass collapses in Mexico City

This salvo essentially cuts off all diplomatic contact under the Economic Dialogue and marks the first formal freeze in diplomatic relations since early 2020. But it has failed to force Prime Minister Scott Morrison's government to offer concessions.

"Overall, what we're seeing in Canberra and Beijing is both sides doubling down and hardening their stance", he said.

Meanwhile, China had said that Australia's decision to cancel agreements between Beijing's flagship Belt and Road Initiative and the state of Victoria was among several "negative moves" that had hurt bilateral relations.

The Australian government has also reportedly sought new security advice over the port of Darwin, which has been leased to Chinese-owned company Landbridge, with some media outlets suggesting that the company could be forced to divest on national security grounds.

China is Australia's No. 1 foreign market, but the sanctions impact has been limited because Chinese steel mills still buy Australian iron ore, the country's most valuable export.

Hours after the announcement from China, Mr Tehan said Australia remains open to working with the world's second largest economy at a diplomatic level.



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