August 27, 2020, 07.19 PM

CANBERRA, KOMPAS.com - The Australian government has drafted new laws that would cancel international deals that are not in Australia’s national interest.

The new laws mostly involve deals struck by lower tiers of governments with foreign states.

The government’s latest move is likely to increase tensions with China given that Victoria State signed a memorandum of understanding with Beijing under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The MOU was signed in 2018 as a means of attracting more Chinese investment infrastructure.

Read also: Reliance on Chinese Capital Can Hurt Indonesian Economy, Says Minister

Now, Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne said that the deal is among those to be reviewed.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison would not comment on the likelihood of the Victorian deal with China being scrapped, saying he did not want to “prejudice the outcome” of a review.

The legislation to be introduced to Parliament next week did not target China, he said.

“My biggest concern is Australia’s national sovereign interest,” Morrison told reporters.

“Protecting and promoting Australia’s national interest is the primary job of the federal government,” he added.

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