Fri, 14 May 2021

BEIJING, April 22 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday urged Australia to immediately revoke its wrong decision of canceling cooperation agreements under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) between the government of Victoria state and the Chinese side.

China also urged Australia to halt irresponsible words and actions on bilateral relations and stop imposing unwarranted restrictions on normal cooperation and exchanges between the two countries.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a press briefing that the BRI is an initiative for international economic cooperation, which follows the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and upholds the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and transparency.

The decision by the state of Victoria to cooperate with China under the BRI framework to improve the well-being of both peoples is a good thing that could have brought benefits to both sides.

The spokesperson said the Australian federal government has unreasonably vetoed the BRI cooperation agreements between the government of Victoria state and China, recklessly interfered in and disrupted normal exchange and cooperation between the two countries, and seriously harmed China-Australia relations and mutual trust between the two countries.

China is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to this, and has lodged solemn representations with the Australian side, he said. "China reserves the right to make further reactions over this matter."

Wang said the Australian side in recent years has done a lot to undermine the normal exchanges and cooperation between the two countries, poison the mutual trust and public atmosphere under the vague and groundless pretexts of "inconsistency with Australia's foreign policy" and "inconsistency with Australia's security interests".

Noting that the political manipulation and irrational behavior by the Australian side is completely contrary to the spirit of China-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership, Wang said it is turning back the wheel of history and is vicious in nature.

"It has had a severe negative impact on the confidence for cooperation of localities and businesses of the two countries and damaged Australia's image and credibility," he added.

China urged the Australian side to abandon Cold War mentality and ideological bias, treat China-Australia cooperation in an objective and reasonable manner, immediately correct its mistakes and change course, and refrain from going further down the wrong path and avoid making the already seriously difficult bilateral relations worse, Wang said.

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