Further trade decline possible if Australia keeps undermining Chinese importers’ confidence

2020-11-12

Amid reckless efforts to sabotage relations with China, certain Australian politicians have used every opportunity to slander China through politicizing economic activities. Recent setbacks to its exports to China have touched the nerves of these impenitent anti-China forces, including Chinese customs' inspection of the metal content of lobsters imported from Australia, which is a normal clearance step to ensure food security.

Illustration: Tang Tengfei/GT

Instead of reflecting on Canberra's role in freezing bilateral relations with China, which has led to a deteriorating business environment for economic exchanges, these ideology-biased politicians try to concoct a mythology of "economic coercion" or a "shadow trade war" by China.

Declining imports from certain sectors require objective analysis case by case. For instance, China has committed to curbing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, which would inevitably reduce demand for coal. And inspection of imported food is a common international practice to protect consumers.

These are normal practices and internal adjustments for industries, especially at a time when the world is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, Canberra has been prevaricating the fact that its irrational efforts hindering bilateral relations have undermined Chinese importers' confidence and consumers' preference.

It is a decision of importers to reduce imports of certain Australian products, Reuters reported, citing a response from China's Foreign Ministry.

Differences between the two nations should not be politicized and economic exchanges should not be affected by ideology. China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a regular press conference on Monday that a sound and stable China-Australia relationship serves the fundamental interests of both peoples. In the meantime, mutual respect is the foundation and guarantee of practical cooperation between countries.

Since 2017, Canberra has repeatedly heightened discriminatory scrutiny of Chinese investments and exclusion of Chinese capital. From 5G developer Huawei to dairy company Mengniu, Chinese companies have encountered a deteriorating environment in their economic cooperation and exchanges with Australia.

With such ideology-based hostilities expanding into many areas, Chinese capital, importers and consumers are losing confidence in Australian products and services. Canberra's irrational attitude toward China is the essential cause to the darkening economic and trade prospects between the two sides, which Canberra tends to ignore alongside its campaign to fabricate "economic coercion" by China.

Under such circumstances, more and more Chinese businesses and consumers have second thoughts about Australian products and services. Canberra needs to make concrete efforts to bring the bilateral relations back onto the right track and improve the environment for economic exchanges. It is expected Australia would reflect on its unsustainable foreign strategy which tends to sabotage relations with China and maintain Chinese importers confidence at the same time.

The article was compiled based on an interview with Chen Hong, a professor and director of the Australian Studies Centre, East China Normal University. bizopinion@globaltimes.com.cn


Source: Global Times

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华东师范大学
East China Normal University