The responsibility for decreased Chinese investment in Australia rests solely with the Australian side, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in Beijing on Wednesday.
Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a daily news briefing in response to a query on a media report that said Chinese investment in Australia had plunged 61 percent in 2020.
Zhao said that for some time, certain people in Australia have been politicizing and stigmatizing the normal economic and trade cooperation between China and Australia, and have imposed unreasonable restrictions on the normal exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.
This has affected the momentum of the sound development of practical China-Australia cooperation, and affected Chinese enterprises' confidence in investing in Australia, he said.
He added that China's foreign direct investment last year reached 153.71 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 12.3 percent year on year. He said the Chinese government encourages Chinese companies to carry out foreign investment cooperation in accordance with market principles and international rules, and on the basis of abiding by local laws.
The Chinese government will also resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies investing and operating abroad, Zhao said.
"The Australian government should treat China-Australia cooperation objectively and rationally, provide a fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies operating in Australia, and contribute to mutual trust and cooperation between China and Australia," he said.