China and Australia turn the tide in the trade dispute

China and Australia turn the tide in the trade dispute

Branch head Wang Wentao and his Oceanian country counterpart Don Farrell decided to restore dialogue mechanisms and resume meetings of the Joint Committee on Free Trade, according to a statement from the Commerce Ministry.

They also agreed to strengthen cooperation on green and low-carbon development initiatives and support e-commerce projects between companies from both nations.

These agreements were reached as part of the Australian’s recent visit to China and provide continuity in reactivating contacts between the authorities of the two governments after sharp disagreements have arisen in recent years.

Last February, Wang and Farrell held the first meeting in three years on the issue of trade, then examined the factors hindering ties and agreed on the need to expand communications in order to fully normalize trade exchanges.

The Chinese incumbent called for finding common ground and putting restoring mutual trust first, while his counterpart called for the lifting of restrictions on the export of wine, coal, beef, barley, medra and shellfish as they cost local businesses $14 billion a year in losses.

Aside from the trade ministers, there have previously been talks between the foreign ministers of both countries; and Presidents Xi Jinping and Anthony Albanese.

Bilateral relations between the two countries have been strained since 2018 after tech giant Huawei vetoed its involvement in the buildout of Australia’s 5G network.

The differences escalated with the exchange of allegations, calls for an investigation into Covid-19 in China, trade restrictions and a travel warning for citizens of that country planning to travel or study in Australia for security reasons and discrimination.

Added to this was the application of anti-dumping measures to the ocean nation’s wines for five years, and also an increase in tariffs weighed down on barley for exporting it here at prices below their actual cost on the local market.

Also in 2021, China indefinitely canceled all planned activities under the Economic Dialogue Mechanism launched in 2014 with Australia, as the country’s behavior affected normal cooperative relations.

Earlier, Australia had revoked an agreement between the state of Victoria and the Asian giant to work together on the Belt and Road Initiative, believing it was inconsistent with its foreign policy and international relations.

Several voices agreed that the United States instigated the confrontation between Beijing and Canberra because it was trying to draw Oceanic territory into its hostility to the eastern land.