China's suspension of economic dialogue with Australia is legitimate response: FMI

China's suspension of economic dialogue with Australia is legitimate response: FMI

China's suspension of all activities under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue is a necessary and legitimate response to Australia's restriction and crackdown on a raft of bilateral cooperation projects, and Canberra should take full responsibility for the move, China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

"In spite of China's repeated representations, Australia has used national security as a ruse, restricting and cracking down existing cooperation projects in trade, economic and people-to-people exchange between the two countries, which severely hurt the mutual trust and impaired political cooperation foundation between the two countries," Wang Wenbin, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, told a press briefing in Beijing on Thursday.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner, announced on Thursday that it will indefinitely suspend all activities under the framework of China-Australia strategic economic dialogue.

The NDRC decision will take effect immediately.

NDRC said that the decision was based on the current attitude of the Australian Government toward China-Australia cooperation, as Australian officials recently "launched a series of measures to disrupt the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia, out of their cold war mindset and ideological discrimination," read a statement on the website of NDRC.

The suspension marks the first time that Beijing has officially frozen diplomatic channels with Canberra, after the Australian government, in what viewed as a provocative action taken against China, abused its administrative power to scrap the agreement signed between Victoria state and China on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in April.

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