Victoria is standing by its Belt and Road deal with China in the face of a diplomatic deep freeze and proposed foreign investment legislation.
Premier Daniel Andrew is not reconsidering the controversial agreement after a senior Chinese official posted an offensive doctored image of an Australian soldier holding a bloodied knife to the throat of an Afghan child
“I would hope the rhetoric, the commentary, social media posts, comes to an end,” Mr Andrews told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.
“This relationship is far too important to farmers, to workers, to profits for Victorian companies and therefore prosperity for our state.
“As challenging as it is, as appalling as that behaviour is, we do need to find a way to work through this.”
However, the Commonwealth could soon pull the rug out from underneath the Victorian premier.
The Senate is debating new powers to check foreign investment arrangements made by states and universities, such as Victoria’s deal with China.
The Morrison government says the changes are about protecting Australia’s national security and sovereignty and the vast majority of deals won’t be impacted.