Australia won’t bend to Chinese demands to begin bilateral talks
Australia’s foreign minister Marise Payne said that Australia wouldn’t bow down to Chinese demands to change its policy to restart the bilateral discussions.
China–Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), signed on June 17, 2015, saw 95% of Australian exports to China made tax free. However, concerns emerged over Chinese inclusion in 5G advancements, with fears of safety defects.
The Australian government also declared more challenging guidelines on foreign buyers of electricity infrastructure and agricultural land due to the stressed relationship.
China reacted by forcing more tariffs on Australian products, including wine and grain, grapes, beef, and coal.
Australia had exported A$149 billion ($110.1 billion) worth of products to China, down 0.6% from the earlier year, yet exports have been bolstered by solid prices for iron ore, the most oversized single item in trade with China.
In 2020, Australia urged WHO for an enquiry into the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, China viewed Australia’s idea as an insult: Beijing had been developing progressively sensitive about the matter.
As of 2021, leaders in all four countries, the United States, Australia, India, and Japan, have officially formed The Quad for tackling economic, security, and growing health issues. All four nations have grown more aligned in their common concerns about China’s frequently aggressive behavior in the region.
China’s drive for economic punishment on Australia has not mainly escalated in 2021, but Beijing has repeatedly not left an opportunity to criticize Australia publicly and blamed the federal government for worsening ties.