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China to boycott Australian goods for opposing Beijing's will

CHINA has ordered its traders to importing coal, barley, copper ore and concentrate, sugar, timber, wine and lobster from Australia, in its most sweeping retaliation ever, reports Bloomberg

04 November 2020 - 19:00

CHINA has ordered its traders to importing coal, barley, copper ore and concentrate, sugar, timber, wine and lobster from Australia, in its most sweeping retaliation ever, reports Bloomberg.

Relations have been strained since Australia barred Huawei Technologies from building its 5G network for on national security reasons as well as Canberra's demand for an independent probe into the origins of the coronavirus.



Beijing has ordered the halt to begin Friday, one source said, asking not to be identified as the information is sensitive.



The import ban was verbally relayed to major traders in meetings in recent weeks. Iron ore, Australia's biggest export to China, won??t be included in the ban, they said.



China has already barred meat imports from four Australian slaughterhouses, delayed lobster shipments from clearing customs, slapped tariffs of more than 80 per cent on barley, and said it won't allow timber from Queensland state because of pests.



Wine is also under an anti-dumping investigation while Chinese power stations and steel mills have been told to stop using Australian coal. Cotton purchases have also been suspended.



China is Australia's most important trading partner, with agricultural shipments alone totalling about A$16 billion (US$11.3 billion) in 2018-19. With Australia in the midst of its first recession in almost 30 years, the widespread trade measures from Beijing couldn't come at a worse time for Morrison's government.



Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, who has repeatedly tried in vain to contact his Chinese counterpart to diffuse tensions, called on Beijing to rule out 'discriminatory actions'.



Australia is the world??s most China-dependent developed economy and finalised a comprehensive free-trade agreement with Beijing in 2015, a year after President Xi Jinping made a state visit. But the Huawei ban, and anti-foreign interference laws that Canberra said were designed to reduce Beijing??s 'meddling' in its internal affairs, marked the end of such cordial ties.


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