China has urged Australia not to discriminate against its Belt and Road Initiative, as a new set of laws puts Beijing’s agreements with local governments in Canberra’s cross hairs, reported the South China Morning Post.
Frigid ties between the two countries slipped lower this week with the passage of laws on Tuesday that could allow Australia’s foreign ministry to scrap agreements made between local authorities and foreign states.
A 2018 memorandum of understanding between the Victoria state government and Beijing is likely to be the first to hit the chopping block when the laws come into effect next year, said the SCMP.
China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday sought to defend its global infrastructure and development plan and the deal signed with Victoria. “The cooperation between China and Victoria under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative is conducive to enhancing the well-being of the people on both sides,” ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a press conference.