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China calls on Australia to ‘immediately change course’ after scrapping trade routes agreement

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
An illustration shows Chinese (L) and Australian flags.

China asks Australia to rectify its mistakes as soon as possible and prevent the countries’ ties from suffering further after Canberra cancels two trade routes agreements between the Victoria State and Beijing.

The rebuke came after Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne vetoed the deals on the Belt and Road Initiative that Victoria had signed a memorandum of understanding on, in order to woo in Chinese investment, Reuters reported. Taking the measure, Payne had alleged that the deals were out of line with the federal government’s foreign policy.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman responded by urging Australia to abandon its "Cold War mentality and ideological bias" and "immediately correct its mistakes and change course."

Payne had also earlier told local radio that the policy was "not aimed at any one country."

Wang Wenbin, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, however, expressed doubt over that claim during a regular news conference in Beijing.

"The Australian side reviewed more than 1,000 deals and only decided to cancel four, and two of them were agreements with China, so Australia's claim that the decision doesn't target any particular country does not hold water," Wang said.

Diplomatic relations between Australia and China have worsened since Canberra called for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus, prompting trade reprisals from Beijing.

Australia’s disregard for political correctness vis-à-vis China comes while Beijing is Canberra’s largest trade partner.

Wang warned Australia against travelling "further down the wrong path to avoid making the already strained China-Australia relations worse."

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