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Coronavirus
VERY HIGH
Pakistan Deaths
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7824hr
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861,473
344724hr
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292,644
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23,447
Islamabad
78,200
KPK
124,484

SYDNEY: Australia on Wednesday cancelled two deals struck by its state of Victoria with China on Beijing's flagship Belt and Road Initiative, prompting the Chinese embassy in Canberra to warn that already tense bilateral ties were bound to worsen. Under a new process in Australia, Foreign Minister Marise Payne has the power to review deals reached with other nations by the country's states and universities.

Payne said she had decided to cancel four deals, including two that Victoria agreed with China, in 2018 and 2019, on cooperation with the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese President Xi Jinping's signature trade and infrastructure scheme. "I consider these four arrangements to be inconsistent with Australia's foreign policy or adverse to our foreign relations," she said in a statement. China's embassy in Australia voiced its "strong displeasure and resolute opposition" to the cancellations late on Wednesday.

Australia's latest move "is bound to bring further damage to bilateral relations, and will only end up hurting itself," the Chinese embassy said.