Australian government cancels state deals on China’s Belt and Road initiative over ‘nati

Australia said a decision to cancel two deals between Victoria state and China on the Belt and Road Initiative was about ensuring consistency in foreign relations and was not aimed at any country. The Chinese embassy earlier criticised the move by Foreign Minister Marise Payne to veto two framework agreements signed by Victoria state as “provocative” and said it would further damage ties with Australia.

Payne said on radio on Thursday (April 22) she had received a thousand notifications from the states about deals they had with multiple foreign governments, under a new process that gives her veto over such arrangements.

“This scheme is very focussed on Australia’s national interest. It’s about ensuring consistency of our foreign relations across Australia and it’s most certainly not aimed at any one country,” she told ABC radio’s AM programme.