Victoria extends ‘One Belt, One Road’ agreement

The Victorian government is set to extend commitments to China’s controversial ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, after joining the international trade plan over a year ago.

Victoria remains the only state to support President Xi Jinping’s plan to ‘unite the world’ through sophisticated trade networks, while critics question China’s continued mass influence over Australia.

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The trade deal is set to be re-written. Photo: AER

VICTORIA REWRITES PLAN

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has recently travelled­ to China to sign a new framework agreement with the country, further extending controversial trade relationships across the state.

Meeting with China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the aim includes “fast-tracking co-operation between China and Victoria on ­infrastructure, innovation, aged care and trade”.

The moves follow a memorandum of understanding being signed between China and Victoria just over a year ago, linking both parties together as part of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative.

The document states Victoria and China will work together to “inject new momentum” to “achieve common development and promote connectivity of policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people”.

Since beginning, the state has seen a dramatic surge in deals that have helped create a $10bn Chinese-Victorian export market, raising concerns over Chinese influence in Australia.

The last 12 months have also marked a sharp turn in domestic views of the initiative, which have been welcomed by the Chinese and praised by the Premier:

“In four years we have more than tripled Victoria’s share of Chinese investment in Australia and nearly doubled our exports to China. We said we’d reboot our relationship with China and we’re getting it done.”

Mr Andrews was the only state premier to be invited to the recent Belt and Road Forum, which took place in China last year and set the tone for future trade plans for the nation.

Australia’s official stance has been to not be part of the divisive trillion-dollar investment initiative, with Victoria acting outside of federal advice when committing to the plan just over a year ago.

Senior national security figures have often warned of serious strategic consequences if Australia formally signs up, although various investment projects seem to have had some form of involvement.

The Premier has revealed Australia’s peak intelligence agency ASIO is monit­oring the initiative, as the state prepares to rewrite its trade strategy with China due to unprecedented export agreements.

CONNECTING THE WORLD

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a massive network of infrastructure projects that seek to revive the Silk Road by creating modern transit and trade corridors across the world.

Under the plan, first unveiled in 2013, China wants to revive an ancient network of land and ocean silk trade routes and has already spent billions of dollars on new infrastructure projects for roads, railways, ports and maritime corridors.

China’s policy is aimed at investing large sums of money in infrastructure development in the area between the two Silk Roads, in an effort to join them together and create one ordered area. 

This extends beyond mere economic activity, however, and includes establishing a whole host of rules, from cultural exchange to the movement of people.

The infrastructure being built by China will not only contribute to economic development in the region, it will also help to improve connectivity throughout Eurasia — enabling China’s military to secure an effective means for communication and movement of troops in a contingency.

Mr Andrews said the Belt and Road Initiative was about attracting Chinese-owned companies, such as John Holland and CPB Contractors, to build Victorian ­infrastructure.

In March 2018, the Center for Global Development, a U.S. think tank based in Washington, published a fascinating report that claimed that China was posing a severe risk to the finances of a number of countries as a result of its aid activities and excessive lending. 

The report went on to list seven specific countries whose finances are at serious risk: Mongolia, Laos, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, the Maldives, Djibouti, and Montenegro.

So far, 68 countries (including New Zealand) have signed up to the signature project of President Xi, which marks his nation’s plans to expand its power in the region and beyond.’

Victoria’s commitment to the program has sparked further tensions over Chinese involvement in key pieces of Australian land, infrastructure and resources — which continues to grow.

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CHINESE TAKEOVER?

China’s influence in Australia throughout the last decade has been unprecedented.

Recently, a Chinese defector to Australia detailed political interference by Beijing, and a businessman was found dead after telling authorities about a plot to install him in Parliament.

For a country that just wants calm commerce with China, the revelations of the past fortnight have delivered a jolt in an already unsteady relationship in the public’s eye.

The New York Times signaled these findings as the “end of a let’s get rich together era”, yet many critics say the damage has already been done across Australia.

For example, Cheung Kong Infrastructure now controls – with the 100% Chinese government-owned State Grid – nearly all of Australia’s east coast energy distribution assets.

Of Australia’s eight states and territories, only three governments retain full ownership of all elements of their electricity networks: Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

Furthermore, China has bought up significant portions of Australian land and infrastructure, including ports, farms, airports, businesses and much more.

China also holds a large stake in Australian water entitlements as part of the failed Murray-Basin Plan, leaving 10% of national water reserves in the control of foreign entities.

All of this is happening while the Chinese government influences Australian universities and works with them to help develop advanced systems for their draconian ‘social credit system’.

When is it time to finally sound the alarm?


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4 comments on “Victoria extends ‘One Belt, One Road’ agreement”

  1. It’s the Communist takeover of Australia, very bad…

    Communism was not created by the masses to overthrow the bankers, Communism was created by the bankers to overthrow and enslave the masses.

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), Nobel-Prize-winning novelist, historian and victim of Jewish Bolshevism.

  2. This is a loan Victoria cannot pay back so this is how China will foreclose & take more of Australia. The Australian Government wants China to take over & enforce Socialism or Communism …. The Great Australian Sell-off is happening right before our eyes by a corrupt Government without the best interests of the Australian Citizens. They sell our water & land & Sea Ports & Air Ports to overseas countries & many more corrupt things. You can fool a few people some of the times but not all people all of the time.

  3. It’s been going on for over 40 years now
    Billionaire triad mafia with the help of labour (Fabian society’s) are helping communist own and Australian assets that have no benifit to the citizens because they pay no taxs
    Hong Kong billionaire who owns Victoria electricity power grid pays no tax for years ato losses 10s millions in revenue guess who payed the short fall ? A month later citizens where forced with higher electricity prices
    Working as a painter 20 years ago on building sites labours unions were extorting $ 890 a year for union fees to work on sites only to see foreign works in bus loads arrive at 3.30pm before we knocked off
    They all could not speak English and did not pay union fees but we’re allowed to to work question is if you are Chinese billionaire builder and Bribe or donate to liberal and labour party’s or are associated with international society’s or even church groups that pay no taxs and undermine Australian citizens through tax avoidance how does that help the Australian citizens who try to get in housing markets or try to start a business??
    We’re is all the money that that Australian governments make ???? Trillion dollar a day economy but we’re always broke
    I think the scam the government pull on Australians every 7 years for the past hundred years is deflation and inflation which changes laws and allows foreign and other corporations and industries to sell tax payers assets to private corporations and elites that pay no taxs
    Politicians who own and run private corporations like law firms or water companies land ect that leave politics only to join there corporate masters the next day makes you wonder!!!! Why did our prime minister Turnbull go to New York a couple of days after leaving office????

    It’s plain to see the political elite work for corporations and not the people

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