An Australian official has said that Canberra will not sign a deal to align a US$5 billion state infrastructure fund with China’s One Belt, One Road initiative during an upcoming state visit. As the Financial Times reports Wednesday, the Australian rejection of the Chinese push for a formal alignment comes as the country hopes the US will expand its role in the region. Australia has also blocked two recent Chinese takeovers, as the country takes a more cautious approach to Chinese influence. The push back on the One Belt, One Road initiative echoes the initial hesitation from Australia to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, and highlights the domestic political backlash to growing Chinese clout.
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ahead of G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. Photo: Reuters, Wang Zhao
Australia rejects One Belt, One Road deal
Move comes as Canberra pushes back on Chinese investments