Thu, 11 Aug 2022

Canberra [Australia], July 15 (ANI): Chinese state media outlet Global Times urged Australia to drop all criticism of Uyghur genocide in exchange for lifting trade sanctions.

However, Drew Pavlou, an Australian political activist and former university senator from the University of Queensland advised against "such a despicable and morally abominable trade-off."Additionally, the Global Times demanded to lift the ban on Huawei. The Chinese government placed trade sanctions on Australia because Canberra refused to be a "vassal state."In April 2020, Australia suggested the start of an inquiry into the origins and the initial handling of the coronavirus.

China alleged that Australia was teaming up with the US to spread "anti-China propaganda."China further called for boycotting Australia as a tourist and higher education destination and banning Australian products like wine and beef.

In May, Chinese authorities imposed an 80 per cent tariff on barley imports coming from Australia. China is the most important market for Australia barley.

China also began a trade probe into Australian wine and suspended import permits for four large beef processing plants.

The two countries have also been at loggerheads on other ideological issues previously too.

After reports of China keeping Uyghur Muslims in state-run detention camps surfaced, Australia was swift to respond and expressed "deep concern" over the "human rights situation."Talks on lifting the ban on products from Xinjiang is also essential for bilateral trade. It is completely groundless for Australia to attack China over the Xinjiang issue, reported Global Times.

Similarly, after China imposed the National Security Law in Hong Kong, Australia suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and said the law undermines Hong Kong's autonomy and suppresses opposition to Mainland China.

Moreover, though China has imposed punitive trade restrictions on Australian coal, barley, meat and wine, it is spending more than ever on Australian imports.

Helen Clark, writing in Asia Times said that the trade war rooted in geopolitics hasn't hurt the Australian economy or its crucial commodity exports, she said.

Indeed, China is spending more than ever on imports from Australia, given its reliance on iron ore and liquefied natural gas (LNG), two commodities commanding ever-higher prices on global markets and for which Australia is the world's largest exporter.

Meanwhile, China, has shown a willingness to improve trade relations with Australia, as evidenced by the recent foreign ministers' meeting.

Indeed, there are increasing positive signals foreboding the possibility of easing trade tensions between the two countries, reported Global Times.

But Global Times questions - to what extent can the positive signals be translated into actual improvement in bilateral trade relations?For instance, Australia is the first country in the world to ban Huawei and other Chinese suppliers from providing 5G equipment, which is the starting point of this round of trade frictions between China and Australia. (ANI)

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