Beijing has urged Canberra to take a look at the reasons behind worsening relations between the two nations and called on Australia to abide by the free-market conditions and trade rules it has always advertised.
On Monday, foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, cited a study by the Institute of East Asian Economics of the Australian National University, showing that China’s direct investment in Australia fell by 61 percent last year to US$783 million, a six-year low.
Wang said the data was cause for Australia to reflect on the reasons behind the deteriorating economic and politics relations.
“Australia has repeatedly abused ‘national security’ grounds to veto Chinese companies’ investment projects in Australia and has frequently imposed unreasonable restrictions on normal exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in various fields,” the spokesman stated, adding that Chinese companies have lost the confidence to invest in Australia.
Wang continued, noting that Canberra should stop the practice of politicizing economic and trade issues, which is a contradiction to the free-market rules it preaches.
“It has also caused damage to Australia’s own interests and reputation,” he added.
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“The Australian government should take measures to provide a fair, open and non-discriminatory investment environment for foreign investors, including Chinese companies,” Wang concluded, adding that cooperation between the two countries can be mutually beneficial.
A bitter trade war between the two nations began after Canberra called for an investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, which Beijing saw as an insult.
In response to China’s decision to impose large tariffs on some Australian goods, Canberra reported it to the World Trade Organization (WTO), arguing that Beijing’s actions are unjust and retaliatory.
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