Fear of a cold war between China and Australia rises, as tensions escalate

By TPN, in World, Asia · 06-05-2021 16:08:00 · 0 Comments

The suspension of an economic cooperation pact with Australia has been announced by China after last month's announcement of Canberra's intention to revoke an agreement on China's "New Silk Road" initiative.

Chinese planning agency stated that Australia "aims to disrupt normal trade and cooperation with China in a 'cold war' and ideological discrimination mentality."

As a result of Australia's intentions, Beijing has decided to indefinitely suspend the "Sino-Australian Strategic Economic Dialogue" and related "all activities", according to the planning agency.

Tensions between the two countries have slowly worsened since 2018, due to a range of disagreements, such as 5G mobile network technology to espionage charges, treatment over Hong Kong, or the origin of the new SARS-COV-2, known as COVID-19 which is the virus responsible for the pandemic.

The suspension comes from last month's announcement from the Australian Government, explaining that it would terminate an agreement signed by the state of Victoria (south-east Australia) to join the 'New Silk Road'.

The project 'New Silk Road' was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, which aims to enhance trade ties across three continents - Asia, Europe, and Africa - by building ports, railways, airports, or industrial parks.

Beijing had then denounced an "unreasonable and provocative measure" taken by Canberra.

Relations between Beijing and Canberra have particularly been intensified since Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an international investigation into the origins of COVID-19 last year.

China -the first country affected by the pandemic as the virus was originated in Wuhan - called Australia's request hostile and politically motivated.

In retaliation, Beijing took a series of measures against Australia, which could have economic consequences, such as measures on Australian products including barley, beef, and wine.

Moreover, Canberra passed new laws in 2020 allowing the country to cancel any agreement between representatives of an Australian state and third countries - that is considered a threat to the national interest.

According to the Australian Constitution, the Federal Government is responsible for Foreign Affairs and Defence and states and territories for areas such as Health and Education.



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