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International relations

China freeze on Australia dialogue cuts deeper into practical ties

Beijing's move called 'worrying' but still short of 'nuclear option' on FTA

China's suspension of an economic dialogue pact with Australia casts doubt on the notion that while ties have deteriorated, day-to-day relations are still intact, according to one expert.   © EPA/Jiji

SYDNEY -- China's announcement on Thursday that it is "indefinitely" suspending an economic dialogue mechanism with Australia is another worrying but calculated development in already corroding ties, analysts say, as the countries trade barbs over human rights and Taiwan.

Beijing's National Development and Reform Commission said it was halting the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, established in 2014, after a series of Australian measures "to disrupt the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia out of Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination."

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