China indefinitely suspends economic dialogue with Australia

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China has announced that it has indefinitely suspended all activities under China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue. The economic dialogue is jointly held by the NDRC and relevant ministries of the Australian government. China holds such dialogues with foreign governments to discuss trade disputes.

“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,” NDRC said in its statement announcing the suspension of the dialogue.

Relations between Australia and China deteriorated after the former supported a probe into the origins of the coronavirus, which first appeared in Central China in late 2019. Subsequently, China blocked imports of most Australian goods last year.

However, the immediate trigger for the latest Chinese announcement was the last month decision of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government to cancel two deals signed by the Victoria state government with China’s Belt and Road initiative.

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