China suspends economic dialogue with Australia

BEIJING (AP) — China has suspended an economic dialogue with Australia, stepping up a pressure campaign that began over Australian support for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. Beijing has blocked imports of Australian coal, wheat, wine and other goods, plunging relations to a multi-decade low. But it has failed to force Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government to offer concessions. The Chinese Cabinet’s planning agency accused Australia of taking steps “to disrupt normal exchanges” due to a “Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination.” China holds such dialogues with Australia, the United States and some other governments to discuss trade disputes and other economic issues.