Via The Australian:
China is pushing for Western Australia to join Victoria in signing up to President Xi Jinping’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative, with a senior official urging the McGowan government to seize the “historical opportunity” of a deal aimed at boosting trade and investment links.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews broke ranks with federal Labor and the Morrison government last year when he signed a memorandum of understanding with Beijing on the BRI, viewed in Canberra as a vehicle for Chinese regional and global expansion.
The four-page MOU signed in October stated that Victoria and China would “work together” under the BRI to promote the “connectivity” of policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people, while acknowledging that Victoria was “welcoming and supporting” of the BRI.
From WA hansard last year:
TREASURER — CHINA VISIT
1086. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the minister representing the Treasurer:
I refer to the recent visit to China by the Treasurer.
(1) Did the state government seek advice from commonwealth agencies on national security implications and espionage risks before the Treasurer undertook his trip?
(2) Is the state government considering signing up to Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative?
(3) Given the mounting evidence of Beijing’s interference in Australian affairs, why did the McGowan government pay Huawei $206 million to maintain a public transport media data network despite national security concerns?
Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
(1) In preparing for the Treasurer’s recent visit to China, the Western Australian Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation worked closely with the commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including on travel advice for the Treasurer.
(2) An offer has not been put to the state government.
(3) Please direct this question to the Minister for Transport.
In the new Cold War it is all about signalling. Yesterday we had the signal that China can sail into Sydney and, short of war, pressure us to do anything it likes, even on Tianenman anniversaries.
Today China wants WA to signal to the world, just as Manchurian Dan has done, that it owns Australia and that’s OK with us.
Canberra sets foreign policy. The states should not secede on it.