Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo
The Australian government happily complies with China’s demand to keep the public in the dark about the terms of an infrastructure MOU between the two countries:
The Turnbull government has refused to release an agreement it signed with China covering the controversial “Belt and Road Initiative” infrastructure program on the grounds Beijing does not want it made public.
Trade Minister Steven Ciobo signed the memorandum of understanding last September for cooperation on building infrastructure such as roads, bridges and dams in third countries – including under the Belt and Road Initiative – during a visit to Beijing. […]
The MOU would be expected to state Australia’s conditions for cooperating with China – such as that projects are financially transparent, do not involve corruption, genuinely help other countries and do not burden them with unsustainable debt.
But the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has refused to release the agreement under the Freedom of Information Act.
Mr Ciobo told Fairfax Media that “both parties are required to agree to release the text of the MOU and China has not agreed to do so”.
Why all the secrecy? Is there some aspect of building roads, bridges and dams that needs to be concealed from the public? The comments to the article tend to indicate that the Australian people are *not* happy about this.
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