Sky News host Peta Credlin says at a time when China is “attacking the livelihoods” of Victoria’s barley farmers and sabotaging the national economy the state is “cuddling up to China in the hope of getting access to cheap money”.
Victoria’s Treasurer Tim Pallas criticised the Morrison government over its push for an international coronavirus inquiry saying it ‘vilified’ Beijing.
Ms Credlin said though the “underlying problem” beyond barley and Tim Pallas is Victoria’s decision to sign up to Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative “something that the federal government … has steered well clear of on security advice”.
The Andrews government has been dodging questions about whether any of the state’s $24 billion coronavirus rescue package would be borrowed from China.
China has offered similar loans to vulnerable countries in the region, as well as countries like Sri Lanka which was unable to repay the loans used to build a new port at Colombo so the communist country “repossessed it”.
“Yet here is a state in our own country, on the kow-tow to China”.
The Belt and Road agreement with China requires Victoria to “‘strengthen coordination and guidance’ with China,” while it also must “finalise a ‘investment road map’ with China within weeks”.
“That any leader of a free country like ours would want to make themselves even more dependent on China at a time like this, beggars belief”.