South Asia and Beyond

Australia Junks State’s BRI Deal With China

Australia’s federal government has said it will revoke an agreement signed by the state of Victoria with China on the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). Foreign Minister Marise Payne said these were an MoU and a framework agreement signed in 2018 and 2019, which will be torn up because these were no longer in consonance with Australia’s foreign policy.

Relations between Australia and China have deteriorated since the former demanded an independent investigation into the origin of the Coronavirus which was first detected in the city of Wuhan. Beijing retaliated by boycotting Australian commodities such as coal. Bilateral trade has taken a hit and political relations have turned very frosty.