Australia should bear full responsibility for China’s suspending indefinitely all activities under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, Gao Feng, spokesperson of Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Thursday.

The response came after China’s top economic planner National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on May 6 that it is suspending indefinitely all activities under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue.

It is the first time that a diplomatic mechanism between the two countries has been frozen on the heels of downward spiraling relations.

Gao said recently, the Australian government has unreasonably suppressed cooperation projects between the two countries, which undermined mutual trust between the two countries and seriously affected the confidence of enterprises to carry out mutually beneficial cooperation.

China urges Australia to treat China-Australia cooperation objectively and rationally, treat Chinese companies fairly, end misconduct that interferes with economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, and take actions to promote the healthy development of China-Australia relations, Gao said.

NDRC said earlier that the suspension decision was based on the current attitude of the Australian Commonwealth Government toward China-Australia cooperation, as some Australian Commonwealth Government officials recently “launched a series of measures to disrupt the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia out of Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination,” according to a statement on the website of NDRC.

The China-Australia strategic economic dialogue, an important mechanism under China-Australia Annual Prime Ministerial Meeting and an important tool to cement bilateral relation mechanisms was launched in 2014.

It aims to conduct strategic dialogue on key bilateral economic and investment areas and strengthen economic ties.

In April, the Australian federal government, in what viewed as a provocative action against China, revoked the agreements signed between the Australian state of Victoria state and China on the Belt and Road Initiative.