China is engaging in a "tongue war" against Australia, singling out and humiliating Australia as an example to other states. It is a long-standing ally of the United States. The report was the first public confirmation from any Chinese government organisation of trade sanctions to damage Australia's economy. Sign up, Join the conversation, you are commenting as Logout. The decision inflamed Chinese hostilities and is widely seen as the spark which led to the ensuing trade dispute. It’s building the world’s biggest navy. China is yet to impose the tariffs, saying it expects a report in the next 12 to 18 months. Australia is heading for a severe economic shock — just at a time when the country is least able to afford it. “Beijing’s crude use of trade sanctions to penalise Australia for real or imagined slights signifies that (any) trading relationship born of mutual benefit risks being subject to persistent, politically-motivated interference,” Walker warns. RELATED: Australia’s major China miscalculation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has openly criticised Australia. Take, for example, the Belt and Road Initiative agreement with Victoria. “These unrestrained attacks and repeated humiliations of Australia look bizarre, but they are engineered to suit a couple of specific purposes for the totalitarian regime in China: one domestic, the other global,” says associate professor in China Studies, Chongyi Feng. But those same states may also hesitate about further exposing themselves through trade to such an antagonistic partner. With rising tensions in the global geopolitical landscape, a tough China policy has been taking shape in Canberra, in particular as Beijing-Washington ties keep worsening given the trade war and the ensuing conflicts in almost all arenas. Defence Minister Marise Payne took to the world stage to call for a World Health Organisation investigation into the origins of COVID-19. And that is politically not marketable, not palatable, for the government to do.”, Jamie Seidel is a freelance writer | @JamieSeidel, To join the conversation, please Log in. First, it was barley. “The CCP might see a tactical political advantage from imposing bans or tariffs, but it does so at the risk of annoying its own people, from whom the party seeks legitimacy.”. “The 14-point grievance list released by the Chinese embassy in late November tells us the issues over which Beijing is unhappy: foreign investment, 5G, anti-interference laws, independent media and noisy think tanks. As China’s trade war with Australia shows, New Zealand must be careful to balance its own economic priorities December 14, 2020 9.37pm EST New … Which may be why key Belt and Road projects, such as iron ore and bauxite deposits in Guinea, West Africa and Brazil, continue to be developed. In its latest blow, China has blocked timber exports from two more Australian states, South Australia and Tasmania, after bans on Queensland and Victorian timber were introduced in the past two months. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Whatsapp Email Print. From land to airports, China's controlling interest in Australian resources is on the rise. Australia is being made an example of. International affairs and trade analysts are scrambling to understand Beijing’s hostility and anticipate its next move. China trade war: Beijing says Australian wine is cheap in latest insult. China has blocked timber exports from two more Australian states, South Australia and Tasmania. “It is both ridiculous and in vain for those in Australia to dress up their country as a victim. Australian coal, barley, copper ore and concentre, sugar, wine and lobster have already suffered a similar fate. As the old adage goes: "If you want peace, prepare for war." China said its latest decision to ban timber exports from South Australia and Tasmania was to "prevent the pests entering China and to protect our country's forestry and ecological safety". “This kind of show is what they call sharp power, the use of China’s market access and influence as a weapon”. “If China could have found a reliable and plentiful source of iron ore other than Australia, it would have made the switch by now,” ASPI’s Peter Jennings says. In October, China's Customs agency said it would block timber imports from Queensland after finding a bark beetle in a shipment. And it has had over three decades of uninterrupted prosperity, largely due to China’s economic rise. Then in November, Beijing announced it would place tariffs of up to 200 per cent on all Australian wine imports, striking a massive blow to the $1.2 billion-a-year industry. several more Australian abattoirs have been banned from selling meat to China, because of "environmental quality" problems, tonnes of live lobsters were left stranded at Chinese airports and clearance houses, Chinese spinning mills were warned not to use Australian cotton, would place tariffs of up to 200 per cent on all Australian wine imports, confirmed what it called the "import suspension" in an English-language article, Trade spat continues as Chinese embassy labels claims it's breaching agreement 'totally unfounded', China blocks more Australian timber exports amid pressure to take dispute to WTO. Image: AFP via Getty. China declares economic war on Australia. Australian companies Emerald Grain and CBH were also suspended from exporting grain to China, with local officials claiming to have found weed seeds in a consignment. Surprise lobster checks at Chinese airports were the next upset to Australian exports. “At least for iron ore, however, there are few other customers at current volumes. Now Beijing won’t even talk with Senator Birmingham or his department. At the time, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said Chinese authorities made the decision based on "highly technical issues" to do with labelling and health certificate requirements, separate to Australia's push for an investigation into COVID-19. “This is the reality, whether we like it or not,” warns La Trobe University Fellow Tony Walker. We have a major leverage point if the government is brave enough to step in and start making controls around price and supply.”, China needs Australia’s iron ore to continue with its huge building projects. Australia is a mid-sized, open, and multicultural democracy. “Again, this is not making a case for excusing China’s bad behaviour, or somehow suggesting the customer is always right. It knows few believe that. It’s all about the Communist Party cultivating nationalism through a more aggressive global stance. The result is a tangled web of conflicting interests. There’s a simple explanation for why Australia has become Beijing’s “whipping boy” recently. Australia's wine exporters were already facing a drop in Chinese interest because of the pandemic, and many feared further declines during the diplomatic stoush. “We hope the Australian side will admit to the real reason, look at China and China’s development objectively, earnestly handle our relations based on principles of mutual respect and equal treatment and do more to enhance mutual trust and co-operation.”. It wasn't the last time Chinese Customs would cause major delays to Australian exports. Australia's relations with its biggest trading partner are at their lowest point in decades. China bans Australian coal as trade war worsens. It started in April. China fired its first shots at Australia's export market back in May, by introducing a massive 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley imports. Beijing seems unconcerned by these obvious implications. “Wolf warrior diplomacy,” he says, is aimed at a domestic audience. The animosity brewing between Australia and China over coronavirus reached a fever pitch this week with both sides digging in - but tensions between the … “Needless to say, if a Chinese provincial party secretary signed an agreement with Australia which Beijing had not sanctioned, he or she would be sacked forthwith,” McGregor writes. This leaves it economically exposed. It caused an immediate decline in ASX mining stocks, with one researcher in China calling the move "another implicit warning to Australia". This suggests a decline in export prices and in Australia’s terms of trade.”. The writing was on the wall by August, when China's Government launched two separate investigations into Australian wine — first looking at dumping and then subsidy allegations. As ties between Beijing and Canberra further fray, Australia has said it is seeking partnerships with new markets, while continuing to raise concerns with China directly. Don't have an account? It came in the wake of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's calls for an international inquiry into the origins of COVID-19. For that, it needs reliable supplies. China’s been building cities. “So the drop off in demand for barley, the drop off in demand for wine, or coal, all these things … in China, it’s hard to know exactly the state of the market. Australia’s barley exports to China had been worth around US$1 billion (RM4.06 billion) a year before a recent drought, used most notably used in brewing. Nationwide News Pty Limited Copyright © 2020. $2 million worth of live rock lobsters ended up stranded on the tarmac in Shanghai, with China's Customs agency alleging the lobsters may be contaminated. Can Australia beat China in a trade war?Source:Supplied. “My sense is that we can’t do so without having to bend the knee and act in a way that will be humiliating for the government. China consumes some 40 per cent of Australia’s exports in a two-way exchange worth roughly $240 billion each year. Australia faces a stark choice in its economic showdown with China: Bend the knee, or else. China has clearly set out to wage economic — and psychological — warfare against Australia. “China took this very personally,” Professor Blaxland says. Crates of Australian rock lobsters have been left to rot at a Chinese airport, and mountains of coal have been stuck in Chinese ports. “China, I think, has been playing a very clever hand at portraying internal domestic market fluctuations for its own political benefit,” he says. Not only must the Chinese people remain controlled by the Communist Party. All times AEDT (GMT +11). Play War Thunder for free on PC, PlayStation®4 and Xbox One! Beijing is demanding respect. But it’s a risk Beijing is prepared to take. It has a market of 52 million regular drinkers, making it one of the most lucrative in the world. The Chinese Government has either placed … In November, tonnes of live lobsters were left stranded at Chinese airports and clearance houses, waiting to be inspected by customs officials. “Brazil is unlikely to replace Australia as a stable, cost-effective and long-term supplier. “China is angry,” a Chinese official in Canberra said last month. Canberra can no longer sit on the fence between its long-term ally (Washington) and its economic lifeblood (Beijing), McGregor argues. The fallout, they add, will cascade like a tsunami through the extensive support services built around Australia’s mining industry. A looming trade war with China could cost jobs across Australia's primary industries, including meat and agriculture. Put simply, it happily restricts trade, prevents foreign investment or ownership, criticises its neighbours and meddles in the affairs of others. But it is counting on them being ignored for being inconvenient. But this is a gross miscalculation that will likely bring about the opposite result.”. “China is changing, transitioning from growth driven by the iron-ore hungry expansion of cities and manufacturing to growth driven more by the supply of services,” Dr Zhou and Professor Tyers argue. They must be kept content. Did Australia and China try to call a truce? China’s hawkish Global Times newspaper has warned that Australia will pay an “unbearable price” if it sides with the United States in an economic “Cold War”. Last month, the Global Times — a Communist Party tabloid often used to send signals to other countries — confirmed what it called the "import suspension" in an English-language article. “Can we possibly make up with China?” Professor Blaxland asks. Sanctions were imposed, K-pop music was banned. “In short, Beijing can attack Canberra without facing many repercussions – and set an example for the rest of the world.”, RELATED: China’s staggering Australia claim, Tensions have risen between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Chinese President Xi Jinping, seen here in 2019. The move threatened Australia's $1.5 billion barley trade into China and led to West Australian farmers pausing their sowing mid-season. To get you up to speed, here's a quick recap on how Beijing's trade policies have sent Australian exporters into a tailspin. And it’s found Australia to be a reliable supplier of its base material – iron. It is the first time Australia has taken legal action against China at the WTO over what commentators have dubbed “shadow trade war” between Beijing and Canberra. In effect, analysts argue, Canberra has become Beijing’s whipping boy. It insists its authoritarian economic and political system is a viable alternative to that established by the West. Picture: Sam Mooy/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images. Should we be on the brink of a China and Australia cold war? It is also economically dependent on China – more so than many other nations. “The effects on Australian gross domestic product and real disposable income per capita are big (6 per cent and 14 per cent), while those on China are mosquito bites by comparison (0.5 per cent and 2.4 per cent).”. growing calls for the Government to consider action at the World Trade Organization. Since then, several more Australian abattoirs have been banned from selling meat to China — the latest suspension came just this week, and estimations put the total loss to the industry at hundreds of millions of dollars. “Australia is certainly not engaging in any type of war,” Minister for Trade Senator Simon Birmingham insists. “None of this explains how China’s leaders think ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy and military sabre-rattling delivers the global leadership they crave and the deference they demand.”. “Some ill-intentioned Australians have pinned the blame on the Chinese side by claiming that China’s control measures on some Australian exports are “economic coercion” and even accusing China of weaponising economic ties,” a Chinese Communist Party-controlled China Daily editorial declares. A trade spat bubbling away for months between China and Australia is threatening to boil over with growing calls for the Government to consider action at the World Trade Organization. Picture: Adam Taylor Adam Taylor/PMO.Source:Supplied, “We have conducted simulations of the effect of shutting down Australia-China trade,” economics analysts Professor Rod Tyers and lecturer Yixiao Zhou write in The Conversation. Australia Takes China To WTO As Trade War Deepens . Follow our live coverage for the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic. Professor Blaxland says China is trying to teach the world a lesson, with Australia as its example. Find out more about our policy and your choices, including how to opt-out. And his arbitrary rule and desire for absolute control make everyone else feel insecure.”, President Xi Jinping needs to show total control over countries like Australia to show his power to Chinese people.Source:Supplied. Australian apprentices and bosses eligible for extra skill s... Find out more about our policy and your choices, including how to opt-out. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Friday commented on the recent reports of Australian "war crimes", saying that he was shocked by the details disclosed in the investigation report and strongly condemned such violations of … Picture: Pavel Golovkin/AFPSource:AFP. SHARES . Yesterday, Republican senator Rick Scott urged Australia to join forces with the US against China, saying the Chinese government “wants world domination”. “Beijing is flexing its muscles to ensure the submission of Australia and break up an Australia-US alliance based on national interests and shared values. Dec 14, 2020 – 9.41pm . 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China’s tariffs on crucial Australian products were as a result of accusations levelled at the state over the outbreak of coronavirus. Have tourism and travel grown too big for our planet? It’s the second most expensive available on the Chinese market. From Xinjiang to the South China Sea to COVID-19, it stands against China, … War crimes: Australian troops unlawfully killed 39 Afghans, report finds Asked whether the tweet should be deleted, Hua said it was between Twitter and Australia. Australia-China trade war only 'wishful thinking', says former ambassador Geoff Raby. Meanwhile, Australian winemakers are frantically seeking alternative markets – potentially leaving Chinese consumers to pay even more. It’s a trade war Beijing knows it cannot lose. Businesses and holidaymakers hit as border permits cause traffic jams and no-shows. But the purpose of Beijing’s diplomatic mixed messaging remains mysterious, ASPI’s Jennings writes. Picture: Greg Baker/AFPSource:AFP. Australia's barley industry was just the first to be caught in the crossfire. China’s savage trade war with Australia has brought a string of industries to their knees – but now, it appears the feud has also spectacularly backfired for Beijing. And compliance. 897. Now it’s lobster, timber and wine. And Professor Blaxland argues Beijing may be turning economic reality to diplomatic advantage. Just two days after the hefty barley tariffs came into play, China banned four Australian abattoirs — three in Queensland and one in New South Wales — from selling it beef. Xi Jinping and Scott Morrison. As trade and political tensions simmer, speculation swirls about what's really going on between the two nations — and what's next on a Chinese sanctions "hit list". In May, Beijing whacked informal quotas on coal, just days after announcing new inspection rules for iron ore imports. And the impact could be truly devastating. Picture: STR/AFPSource:AFP. Join three of the ABC's China experts — international analyst Stan Grant, foreign affairs reporter Stephen Dziedzic and bilingual reporter Bang Xiao — on our Q&A live blog at 12:00pm AEDT today. China has slapped Australian winemakers with heavy tariffs, and banned or taxed exports of other products, including beef and barley. Minister Birmingham warned of China's possible "discriminatory screening practices" that could "imply a breach of WTO or CHAFTA [China–Australia Free Trade Agreement] commitments". That leaves intimidation. by introducing a massive 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley imports. But war is no longer unthinkable, and Australia is arming itself. Australia is heavily dependent on this one source of international cash flow. Soon after, Australian produce such as barley, copper and sugar products began to be singled out. 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