The federal government has stepped in and torn up four agreements made by the Victorian government with foreign powers, including two linked to ChChina’selt and Road initiative.
On Wednesday evening, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the contentious memorandum of understanding and framework agreement Victoria signed with China about the initiative had been canceled under new Commonwealth veto laws.
“I” consider these four arrangements to be inconsistent with AuAustralia’soreign policy or adverse to our foreign relations,” “senator Payne said.
It is the first time the federal government has used the new veto powers, which permits it to cancel agreements states and territories strike with other countries.
The Belt and Road deals tied Victoria to Chinese President Xi JiJinping’sajor infrastructure project.
Agreed areas of cooperation included increasing participation of Chinese infrastructure companies in ViVictoria’snfrastructure construction program and promoting the collaboration of Victorian businesses in China.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, late last year, said scrapping the agreements would be risky, and they could bring jobs and investment to the state during its coronavirus recovery.
In the past 12 months, China has launched a series of damaging trade strikes against Australia after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the pandemic.
The Chinese government also remains furious with Australia over foreign interference and investment laws and the decision to ban Huawei from the cocountry’sG rollout.
Senator Payne said on Wednesday she would continue to monitor arrangements made with foreign nations, and she expected “t”e overwhelming majority of them to remain unaffected”.”
She said she had also approved a proposed memorandum of understanding between the West Australian government and Indonesia regarding a minerals project.