The Andrews government has released the memorandum of understanding it signed with China to join its multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road trade initiative.
Labor released the MOU on Sunday evening, following heavy criticism from the Coalition, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former PM John Howard, for signing the deal and keeping its contents secret.
The four-page document, signed by Premier Daniel Andrews and Lifeng He, chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, binds Victoria and China to no specific commitments.
It states that Victoria and China will agree to co-operate on “facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial co-operation, people-to-people bond[s], and promote Digital Silkroad co-operation”.
Co-operation will occur in the form of dialogue, joint research, pilot programs, knowledge sharing and capacity building, the memorandum states.
Labor signed the agreement with the Chinese government in early October but kept its details under wraps for weeks, arguing it was standard practice to keep such MOUs confidential.
In a statement, the Andrews government said on Sunday that the MOU was not legally binding.
“The MOU does not bind Victoria to be involved in any specific project or initiative,” the government said.
“As it always does, the government will consider both the Victorian and national interest before agreeing to be involved in any specific activity.”
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy previously said he would publish the MOU if he became premier.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a vast infrastructure program aimed at building and improving trade routes between China and other parts of the world.
It has been criticised for saddling some developing economies with large debts.
By Adam Carey