„Victoria needs to explain why it is the only state in the country that has made this agreement,“ he said. Victoria`s Liberal opposition questioned why the deal failed to protect Victorian farmers from the 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley that the Chinese government put on Australian barley this month. Instead, Victoria should invest more in expanding trade and investment agreements with countries such as India, Japan and Vietnam, Professor Fitzgerald said. Some experts see the BIS as a way for China to create new investment opportunities, cultivate export markets, facilitate credit to countries they need, and boost China`s domestic incomes and consumption. Despite the non-binding nature of the agreement, the scale of the initiative around the world has become a centerpiece of criticism from many governments, including Australia. Victoria`s treasurer, Tim Pallas, said this month at a parliamentary inquiry that the state would „absolutely not“ reconsider its belt and road agreements, accusing the federal government of „denigrating“ China because of its push for an international investigation into the Covid 19 pandemic. Many Western countries, especially the United States, are wary of China`s motivations behind the BIS. The initiative is rejected in order to eliminate any risk of Chinese cooperatives operating under the BIS in order to gather valuable information for the Chinese government. Huawei Technologies Co., a Chinese telecommunications company, for example, has been banned in order to facilitate Australia`s 5G infrastructure for the high risk the company poses to report to Beijing. The P.M., who sees no value for the non-binding MUO, clearly shows the country`s great distrust and prudence with the initiative. Thus, Victoria`s BIS agreement is out of direct step with the federal government and has created conflicting interests for Australia.
The state`s relentless sustainability in participating in the initiative not only frustrated the federal government, but also lost the support of the Prime Minister, Daniel Andrews` Labour colleagues. The second wave of Victoria`s Covid-19 relied only on the federal government to scrutinize Andrew`s decision-making. In the end, the Prime Minister`s partnership with China has profoundly compromised his long-term service in his current position. There was a bitter gulf between the Australian federal government and the state of Victoria over its membership of the BIS.