Mon, 25 Jan 2021

Beijing [China], November 27 (ANI): Escalating the trade stoush against Australia, China on Friday announced that it will impose temporary anti-dumping duties of more than 100 per cent on Australian wine imports.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said that the duties, that are to be imposed on Saturday, will range from 107.1 per cent to 212.1 per cent, South China Morning Post reported.

The move is likely to further escalate tensions between the already-strained ties of Beijing and Canberra.

The commerce ministry said in a statement announcing the measures that "there is a causal relationship between [wine] dumping and material damage".

China is the biggest destination of Australia's wine export accounting for 39 per cent of total shipments in the first nine months of 2020, according to Wine Australia, an industry body.

The ministry said it would initiate a probe into whether to put countervailing duties on Australian wines alongside the anti-dumping investigation, anticipating concluding the process within a year, with a possible six-month extension.

Canberra has been locked in an ongoing trade war with Beijing for seven months, which has seen China slap sanctions on various Australian products.

China has unofficially banned Australian imports of coal, sugar, barley, lobsters, wine, copper and log timber since the start of November. It has also imposed anti-dumping duties on barley earlier this year.

Beijing has also suspended beef imports from five major meat processing plants in Queensland and New South Wales in May.

The relationship between the two countries has deteriorated after Australia pushed for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus in April without consulting Beijing, widening cracks in the relationship that had been growing since Canberra banned China's Huawei Technologies Co. from helping build its 5G telecommunications network two years ago.

China also seems to be infuriated by the Australian participation in the Malabar naval exercise earlier this month.

In an editorial piece, the Communist party's mouthpiece China Daily had recently chided the Australian government for 'aggressively sending warships to China's doorsteps' as part of Exercise Malabar, UK Daily Mail reported. It had warned Canberra of "economic pain" if it continues to be part of the US administration's "roughneck gang".(ANI)

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