China on Thursday announced the indefinite suspension of all activities under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, further stalling a reconciliation for the already difficult bilateral ties, Reuters reported.
- China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said the suspension came as some officials of the Australian government launched a series of measures that disrupt the normal exchanges between the two countries.
- The measures were not specified, but China said these were “out of Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination.”
- China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Australia “must bear full responsibility” after it abused the concept of national security to pressure cooperation, adding the suspension was “necessary and legitimate.”
- Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said the suspension was disappointing, citing that the dialogue was important for the two countries to better their economic partnership.
- Tehan said Australia remains open to holding talks and engaging at the ministerial level.
- Australia in 2020 called for an independent probe on the origins of the novel coronavirus. China retaliated with trade measures.
- Australia in 2018 also banned Chinese firm Huawei from its 5G network, the first country to do so.