Victorian Belt And Road Agreement

Nothing. This is not a legally binding agreement, but so far the Victorian government has not turned away from it. Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said he was not re-listening to the state`s belt and road agreement with China in the face of escalating diplomatic tensions between the two nations. In 2018, Andrews signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” with China on belt and road initiatives that he said were aimed at making significant public investments in infrastructure. www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/25/chinas-belt-and-road-initiative-what-is-it-and-why-is-victoria-under-fire-for-its-involvement Victoria`s treasurer, Tim Pallas, said this month at a parliamentary inquiry that the state would “absolutely not” reconsider its belt and road agreements, accusing the federal government of “denigrating” China because of its push for an international investigation into the Covid 19 pandemic. In 2018, Prime Minister Daniel Andrews signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China`s National Development and Reform Commission to work together on belt and road initiatives. www.cfr.org/backgrounder/chinas-massive-belt-and-road-initiative The coalition says the changes are aimed at protecting Australia`s national security and sovereignty and the vast majority of agreements, but that effectively gives them the power to denounce the Victoria agreement if they see problems. They should have a roadmap together by the middle of the year, but that has not been done. “We did not support this decision at the time of the agreement. And asking for national interests in foreign affairs are determined by the federal government and I respect its jurisdiction when it comes to the issues for which they are responsible, and it has always been customary for states to respect and recognize the role of the federal government in defining foreign policy. Although he is sticking to a controversial agreement on the Belt and the Road, Mr. Andrews could see that he is failing because of federal powers that are aprioris. China`s emphasis on quantity versus quality is illustrated in the CEECs.

Despite all the fanfare from the supporters and the fear of criticism, the documents are weak. They use vague language on “promoting the spirit of the Silk Road” and “building a common future.” But the end of the agreement should not distract attention from the greatest challenge. Because the document has never accomplished much and its absence will not do so. Instead of supporting the belt and the street, or condemning any project with Chinese participation, countries need to look at economic opportunities based on their benefits and with the broader goal of developing resilience to coercion. Cooperation with partners and allies is essential and, inadvertently, China deepens mutual understanding among its competitors. It was followed by a framework that set up a working group to obtain a roadmap on partnership opportunities between China and Victoria by mid-2020.

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