China will 'divide Australia and rule'
Victoria not seeking the advice of the federal government before signing a memorandum of understanding with the China on Belt and Roads "plays into the Communist Party's hands" as it likes to "divide and rule" according to former foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer.
It was revealed on Wednesday Victoria did not consult with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before signing the second stage of a memorandum of understanding with the Communist Party.
Victoria is expected to officially engage in the controversial $24.5 billion infrastructure program with China later this year, which is in direct contradiction to the federal government's public approach to Belt and Roads.
Mr Downer told Peta Credlin it makes it "hard to run a national foreign policy, particularly with a sensitive partner like China, when you've got the states running off doing their own things".
"It plays into China's hand because then they can play off Victoria and the Victorian government against the Australian government and other state govenments, and divide and rule".
"They like that strategy," he said.
"State governments have to take the constitution of Australia seriously."