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Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian: Cooperation between China and Victoria under the BRI framework completely reasonable, lawful and aboveboard.

2020-05-26

At a regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China on May 25, spokesperson Zhao Lijian took a question on the Cooperation between China and the Australian State of Victoria under the BRI framework.

Shenzhen TV: According to Australian media reports, Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and other officials said recently that Belt and Road Initiative is a “propaganda exercise” of the Chinese government. Victoria state lacks transparency in signing the BRI agreement with China, and the values of the communist regime are different from those of Australia. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has threatened to “disconnect” with Australia because the deal "could affect the security of US telecommunications". What is China's comment?

Zhao Lijian: The Belt and Road Initiative is an economic cooperation initiative. It follows the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and advocates openness, inclusiveness and transparency. It has brought tangible benefits to people along the Belt and Road. The successful cooperation between China and the Australian state of Victoria under the BRI framework was determined and implemented by the two sides through friendly consultation with a view to improve the well-being of the people. It is completely reasonable, lawful and aboveboard. The groundless accusations made by some Australian politicians are totally untenable. They only expose their negligence of the Australian people’s interests and their sinister intentions of damaging China-Australia relations. We hope relevant people on the Australian side will bear in mind the interests of their own people, discard ideological prejudices and do more to promote mutual trust and cooperation between China and Australia, rather than the contrary.

The threat from American politicians is even more bizarre. What is the relationship between the BRI cooperation between a Australian state government and China and the telecommunications security of the United States? What makes them think that they have the right to disrupt and tarnish China-Australia cooperation? Is it not blatant coercion and interference in other countries' internal affairs? Even the US ambassador to Australia admitted that the BRI MOU between Victoria state and China has nothing to do with the US. Some politicians in Australia have been saying all day long that they oppose "foreign interference" and "Chinese coercion". Why don't they stand up against the US? This has once again exposed the deep-rooted ideological bias and double standards of some people on the Australian side.

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