China lashes Australia as ‘insane’ after suspending dialogue between the two countries
China said it had “no choice” but to suspend all international dialogue with Australia, lashing Australia for its “insane” approach to relations between the two countries.
Beijing on Thursday announced it would “indefinitely suspend” all activity under China-Australias Strategic Economic Dialogue as relations between China and Australia plunged to new depths.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said “sound and steady” relations were in the interests of both countries, but China had “no other choice but to make necessary and legitimate responses” to Australian aggression.
“We urge the Australian side to cast aside the Cold-War mentality and ideological bias … (and) return to the rational track without further delay and correct its mistakes,” he said on Thursday.
“It should stop the insane suppression targeting China-Australia co-operation, stop politicising and stigmatising normal exchange, and stop going further down the wrong path.”
Mr Wang accused Australia of “severely damaging” mutual trust by citing false national security concerns to “double down on restriction and suppression” of trade.
“The Australian side must take all responsibility for this. Mutual respect and mutual trust is the prerequisite of dialogue and practical co-operation between countries,” he said.
The comments were an apparent reference to Canberra scrapping the Belt and Road Initiative signed between China and Victoria.
It was the first time the federal government used new powers allowing it to veto deals signed between states and foreign powers on national security grounds.
But Trade Minister Dan Tehan insisted the laws were “country agnostic” and not directed at Beijing.
“We have taken decisions according to our national interests, according to our sovereignty, as all countries do. We’ve explained that to China,” he said.
Mr Tehan revealed in February his Chinese counterpart ignored a letter he sent outlining areas of potential co-operation but said he hoped ministerial dialogue would resume over time.
“I’m very keen to sit down with him and work through these issues, and my hope is over time is that what we’ll see,” he said.
China’s latest salvo came after Foreign Minister Marise Payne travelled to London for a meeting with G7 leaders, who savaged China for human rights abuses in Xinjiang and suppression of pro-democracy movements in Tibet and Hong Kong.
Mr Wang lashed the accusations as “groundless” and rounded on G7 leaders for meddling in Chinese internal affairs.
“This is gross interference in China’s sovereignty, flagrant trampling on norms of international relations and violation of the trend for peace, development and win-win co-operation of our times,” he said.
Originally published as China lashes Australia as ‘insane’ after suspending dialogue between the two countries
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