Australian lawmakers on Thursday cleared legislation that gives the federal government power to veto any agreement struck with foreign states. The law is seen to be targeted at China that had signed up the south Australia state of Victoria in 2018 for President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative.
”Australia’s policies and plans, the rules that we make for our country are made here in Australia according to our needs and our interests,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra soon after.
A few hours earlier, the United States’ House of Representatives had cleared legislation to delist foreign firms that don’t adhere to US auditing standards, a move that could lead to Chinese companies including behemoths such as Alibaba Group, Baidu Inc and PetroChina getting kicked off American exchanges if they don’t let US regulators review their financial audits.
China watchers in New Delhi said the two laws that seek to curb Chinese influence wasn’t a standalone effort.
“It is QUAD in action,” one of them said, referring to the informal group of Japan, Australia, the United States and India.
Foreign ministers of the four countries met in Japan in October over concerns about Chinese attempts to flex its muscles in its neighbourhood including India’s Ladakh region