World News – AU – Trade Spat Continues as Chinese Embassy Labels Claim Treaty Deal « Completely Unfounded »


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China has denied recent concerns about the treatment of Australian exports and stated that it has consistently complied with its commitments under the two countries’ free trade agreement known as ChAFTA.

In a statement, the embassy said the « so-called concerns about China’s compliance with ChAFTA are completely unfounded ». .

On Wednesday, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham again voiced concerns about tariffs on Australian wine and barley exports, stating that these were contrary to the « spirit » of ChAFTA and the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

« The Australian government is considering all dispute resolution options to help our exporters, » he said, but has not yet taken the issue to the WTO.

« In contrast, since 2018, more than 10 Chinese investment projects have been rejected by the Australian government on the pretext of ambiguous national security or national interests. « 

Australia has launched 25 of its own anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into Chinese products since 2016.

« These measures, which are inconsistent with the letter and spirit of ChAFTA, have undermined the interests of Chinese companies and had a negative impact on economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, » it said.

« We hope that Australia can do more to strengthen mutual trust and bilateral cooperation in line with the broad strategic partnership between China and Australia, and to get bilateral relations back on track as soon as possible. « 

The Morrison administration seems to be betting that all it has to do is hold your nerve and hold the line when it comes to China’s trade threats, writes Stephen Dziedzic.

In response, Senator Birmingham said China’s behavior makes it a riskier option for Australian businesses.

« It is still an individual business decision, and some will no doubt continue. There are still significant flows in many sectors of the market that, despite some difficulties, have seen record levels of trade with China, « he said.

On Wednesday evening, Agriculture Secretary David Littleproud told the ABC that there was « increasing evidence ». Beijing’s actions were not based on technical issues.

« It is imperative that China provide comfort not just to Australia but to all trading partners that this is not the case.

This service may contain material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service that is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced.

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, 10 hours before GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

China, Australia

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