Australia Rejects to be a part of China’s BRI and cancels projects. The Scott Morrison government has terminated Victoria’s controversial Belt and Road agreement with China. Morrison government said that Victoria’s Belt and Road deal fell foul of Australia’s national interest. China has slammed Australia’s decision to cancel agreements between the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Victoria state government, signaling a worsening of ties between the nations.
The Australian federal government scrapped both the memorandum of understanding and framework agreement signed between Victoria and China’s National Development and Reform Commission, Beijing’s top economic planning body, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in an emailed statement Wednesday. She described the deals as “inconsistent with Australia’s foreign policy or adverse to our foreign relations.”
The key announcement regarding the cancellation of the Victoria Belt and Road agreement under Australia’s foreign veto laws was made by Foreign Minister Marise Payne. Australia’s Federal government also cancelled two Victorian government education agreements- one with Iran in 2004 and another one with Syria in 1999.
Australia’s Defence Minister Peter Dutton said the cancellation was necessary to prevent Australia from hosting a giant infrastructure scheme “used for propaganda”.
Emboldened by lack of coordinated action against China for attacking the whole world by releasing the deadly Chinese Corona Virus worldwide that took lives of over 3.01 Million people worldwide, China has started giving threats to the other countries who dare to stand up against China. This time China has threatened to attack Australia if Australia drags itself along with US in war over Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
Communist CCP China’s mouthpiece, The Global Times, has started its old tricks to throw empty threats on other sovereign nations who dare to stand up against China. This time through an article published in The Global Times on 19-April 2021, Communist CCP China had threatened an Australian invasion in the event that Australia interfere over Chinese invasion of the Independent Taiwan, whose sovereignty and independence, China disregards.
As a consequent it was expected that Australia rejects to be a part of China’s BRI and cancell all projects amidst the latest diplomatic face-off between China and Australia..
Another Reason Australia Rejects to be a part of China’s BRI
As per a recent report, Chinese drug lords are investing in Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative to launder tens of millions of dollars made from trafficking cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin in Australia, classified intelligence documents reveal.
Three of Australia’s biggest organised crime kingpins have taken illicit drug-trade cash and washed it through Beijing-backed infrastructure projects across Africa and the Middle East.
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joint investigations by the Australian Federal Police and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission have uncovered these ‘investment’ deals are often made in terms ‘favourable to the host’, who are ignorant of the source of the funds.
The revelation comes two days after Foreign Minister Marise Payne announced the federal government would use its veto power to tear up the Victorian state government’s 2018 Belt and Road deal with China – sparking a backlash from Beijing and threats of legal action.
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Defence Minister Peter Dutton returned fire on Friday saying Australia would not ‘surrender’ to threats of retaliation.
‘We’re not going to have our values compromised, we aren’t going to surrender our sovereignty,’ he said.
Two of the Triad bosses heavily invested in the Belt and Road initiative are Asian-Australian businessmen.
One of which is based in Hong Kong and runs a drug smuggling operation with the help of Australian outlaw bikie gangs.
Another figure named as a Australian Priority Organisation Target by authorities has been linked to large-scale drug trafficking across the Asia Pacific.
Authorities have traced their drug money to as far away as Chinese development projects in Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Oman and Myanmar.
The Australian-linked drug lords are not the first organised crime figures from China to use the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature trade policy for nefarious reasons.
In the US and elsewhere, Triad groups have piled their ill-gotten gains into Belt and Road projects, investigations by the US Department of Homeland Security have alleged.
What is the Belt and Road Initiative?
Unveiled in 2013 in Kazakhstan and Indonesia by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Belt and Road Initiative is the most ambitious infrastructure project in modern world history.
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The multitrillion-dollar initiative involves hundreds of projects, most of them built by Chinese contractors and financed by loans from Chinese state-owned banks, across an arc of 65 countries from the South Pacific through Asia to Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
The Belt and Road Initiative, essentially a Modern Silk Road, is made up of a ‘belt’ of six overland corridors that direct trade to and from China and a maritime ‘road’ of shipping routes and seaports from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean.
The initiative countries account for 40 per cent of global gross domestic product growth and 44 per cent of the world’s population, according to an analysis from Morgan Stanley.
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As of July 2018, more than 100 countries and international organisations had signed Belt and Road cooperation documents with China, extending the initiative’s scope from the Eurasian continent to Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the South Pacific region.
The Chinese government calls the initiative ‘a bid to enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future’.
Other observes and critics, however, see it as a push for the country’s position as a global economic power with a China-centered trading network while burying some countries under massive debt. We have written several articles on Chinese Debt Trap diplomacy. Please check the related articles.
Areas of cooperation included increasing participation of Chinese companies in Victoria’s infrastructure program and promoting Victorian businesses in China.
It also allowed Victoria’s engineering and design firms to bid for Belt and Road contracts around the world.
Mr Andrews has previously said he made the secret deal to shore up jobs in the state.
The Belt and Road Initiative is the signature policy of Chinese President Xi Jinping and aims to use development projects to assert global power.
Critics have labeled the intiative ‘debt trap diplomacy’ under which China loads up impoverished nations with mountains of debt which it then forgives in exchange for control over their foreign policy.
Chinese Reaction After Australia Rejects To Be A Part of China’s BRI And Cancels Projects
On Wednesday 21-April 2021, Wang Xining, the deputy head of the Chinese embassy in Canberra, accused t he Australian government of “conniving with the United States in a very unethical, illegal, immoral suppression” of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei. Chinese side continue to give threats to Australia.
An animated Wang declared, “China is not a cow. I don’t think anybody should fancy the idea to milk China when she’s in her prime and plot to slaughter it in the end.” The senior diplomat added, “So we are open for collaboration and cooperation, but we’ll be very strong in defending our national interest.”
China has lodged stern representations with Australia over the issue and reserved the right to take more action, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing Thursday 22-April 2021 in Beijing.
The step “is another unreasonable and provocative move taken by the Australian side against China,” the Chinese embassy in Canberra said in an emailed statement. “It further shows that the Australian government has no sincerity in improving China-Australia relations — it is bound to bring further damage to bilateral relations, and will only end up hurting itself.”
Australia “basically fired the first major shot against China in trade and investment” conflicts, Chen Hong, director of the Australian Studies Center at East China Normal University in Shanghai, told the Communist Party-backed Global Times. “China will surely respond accordingly.”
Comments found on Chinese microblogging website Weibo ranged from the milder “what about the contract spirit often touted by the West” to harsher ones like “such perfidy” and “treachery can only be expected from descendants of convicted criminals”.
Yet, regardless of Chinese angry rants, the Morrison government has managed to terminate the Victoria Belt and Road agreement. This is a particularly big shock for China because the Communist nation was looking to interfere in Australia’s internal matters through the Victoria deal. National security experts in Australia were worried that Beijing was using the Victoria agreement as a propaganda tool to suggest that the Victorian government had made a departure from Canberra’s China policy.
Within Australia, the Morrison government kept warning the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews about the security risks posed by the Belt and Road agreement. Yet, Andrews did not budge. He started arguing that the deal was crucial on the ground that it would provide more jobs and economic opportunities to the state of Victoria.
Yet, the Scott Morrison government finally found a solution with a Foreign Relations legislation that gave Australia’s Federal government the power to review, prevent or terminate all agreements signed by the State and Territory governments, Local Councils and even Public Universities with foreign governments. Now, this legislation has been pressed into service by the Morrison government.
Meanwhile, Beijing seems perturbed by the scrapping of Victoria’s Belt and Road deal. A spokesperson of the Chinese embassy said, “This is another unreasonable and provocative move taken by the Australian side against China.”
The spokesperson added, “It further shows that the Australian government has no sincerity in improving China-Australia relations. It is bound to bring further damage to bilateral relations, and will only end up hurting itself.”
China’s reaction shows that it has been considerably affected by Morrison’s $107 billion jolt. Australian PM Scott Morrison has been on a campaign to save his country from China’s obnoxious influence and cancelling the Victoria agreement comes right at the top of his many moves to hurt China.
Why China Is Falling Out With Australia (and Allies)
Relations between Australia and its largest trading partner have been in freefall for a year after the government called for an independent probe into the origins of the coronavirus in April 2020. Beijing has since inflicted a range of trade reprisals, including imposing crippling tariffs on Australian barley and wine while blocking coal shipments.
Since then, millions of dollars of Australian imports have encountered difficulties entering the Chinese market, including timber, beef and some types of coal. In March, the Chinese government confirmed that Australian wine would face tariffs of up to 218% for five years due to allegations of “dumping and [market] damage.”
Hypocrite China holds cargo ships from other countries at its Ports for months, while expects Chinese cargo ships to be cleared in other countries ASAP. More than 20 Bulk carriers including capesizes and panamaxes carrying Australian coal have been lining up at major coal ports in north China, waiting to unload cargo at Tangshan’s Jingtang Port for around ten months, due to the import restrictions China has implemented on Australian coal. There are also many ships under the same situation at nearby Caofeidian Port and Huanghua Port.
There are other Australian actions in the past that have cumulatively irked China – a new law in 2017 requiring registration of foreign lobbyists and banning foreign donations to political parties, the 5G ban on Huawei in 2018, a federal police raid on four Chinese state media journalists, and last year’s call for an independent inquiry with “weapons inspector” powers into the origins of the Wuhan outbreak of COVID-19.
Another Biggest reason for China falling out with Australia and allies is the reason for their criticism of China trying to invade Taiwan and China predicts that Australia will be a key country in US led attack on China. Hence China wants to inflict economic attacks and attempt economic and industrial espionages in Australia using proxies so that Australia is not in a position to participate in US led war against China in the event of invasion of Taiwan.
Overall, Chinese investment in Australia dropped by 62% in 2020, down to just $775 million.
The Belt and Road is Beijing’s strategic tool to advance Beijing’s influence around the world.
“We have done nothing intentionally to hurt this relationship, and we have seen too many incidents over the past few years in which China’s interest has been hurt,” Wang Xining, the Chinese Embassy’s deputy head of mission, told reporters in Canberra.
What Next Is In Store?
As a first step, Australia needs to find market for its raw materials. India is a growing economy in south Asia. Work with Indian Government an find what raw materials including copper, brass, coal etc. Indian economy needs and diversify its economy with no dependence on China. Similarly explore other countries for its beef and other livestock exports.
Since China has already threatened to attack Australia if Australia drags itself along with US in war over Chinese invasion of Taiwan, that means China is already planning to invade Taiwan is a very near future.
Australia should beef up its security, accelerate defense production, try to raise a bigger Army and Navy and beef up its Air Defenses in the event of a Chinese attack on Australia and also take punitive action against China in the event of Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
Australia may attempt to form an alliance of all the major countries in South China Sea that are threatened by China claiming ownership of the entire SCS and help form a strong military alliance with them.
After the recent events, Australia being alone that rejects to be a part of China’s BRI and cancels projects is not sufficient to cause a dent in the economic superpower of China. In case International community strongly wants to take down China, other countries involved in BRI projects including African countries should be persuaded to end contracts with China.
Work must be done at the UN also to impose sanctions against China. Punitive Action must be initiated against China for murdering 3.1 Million people worldwide using Chinese Bio-Weapon of Chinese Corona Virus and ban all Chinese shipments leaving China by imposing trade embargoes.
Points to Ponder
Will the International community stand united with Australia and Japan to take punitive action against Bio-Terrorist China that murdered 3.1 Million people worldwide using Chinese Bio-Weapon of Chinese Corona Virus?
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