China Australia. Photo: VCG
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planner, announced on Thursday that it will indefinitely suspend all activities under China-Australia strategic economic dialogue, which is jointly held by NDRC and the relevant ministries of the Australian Commonwealth Government. The decision takes effect immediately.
NDRC said that the decision was based on the current attitude of the Australian Commonwealth Government toward China-Australia cooperation, as some Australian Commonwealth Government officials recently “launched a series of measures to disrupt the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia out of Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination,” according to a statement on the website of NDRC.
The China-Australia strategic economic dialogue was launched in 2014, aiming to expand opportunities on two-way investment and deepening bilateral cooperation.
According to media reports, the latest round of dialogue, or the third round, was held in September, 2017.
Relations with China and Australia have sunk to an all-time low in recent days, after the Australian federal government, in what viewed as a provocative move against China, uses laws to revoke agreements signed between Victoria state and China on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Chinese observers said that the suspension is a necessary move to protect China’s national interests.