China bans Aussie meat exports as tensions rise

China has reportedly banned exports from four Australian abattoirs amid rising tensions between...
China has reportedly banned exports from four Australian abattoirs amid rising tensions between the countries. Photo: Getty Images
China has reportedly banned meat exports from four Australian abattoirs as simmering tensions about the origin of the Covid-19 outbreak rise between the countries.

The Asian giant - which is New Zealand's biggest meat export destination - delisted four Australian export abattoirs overnight, according to The Australian media outlet.

Canberra and Beijing have become increasingly embroiled in a bitter row recently, with the communist state warning any push for an independent inquiry into the coronavirus' origins would spark a travel and trade boycott.

Australian politicians were in turn unhappy when a Chinese official gave a speech without prior warning at a Government press conference held in tandem with mining billionaire Andrew Forrest.

Australia's Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the move is deeply concerning and has "no justification".

He said the Government is working with the Australian grains industry to mount the strongest possible case against China's 18-month anti-dumping investigation.

"Every country has a right to apply tariffs in relation to matters of dumping," Senator Birmingham told reporters in Canberra on Sunday.

"But we are quite clear and firm in our view that there is no justification to find that Australia's farmers and barley producers are subsidised or are dumping their product in such ways."

Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce says China's tariff threat is retribution for Australia supporting a review of Covid-19's origins.

 "This is a case of payback," he told Seven Network's Sunrise on Monday, adding that the coronavirus investigation is justified.

The spat left Australian farmers fearing they might get caught in the middle as China earlier threatened to hit Australian barley exports with tariffs that could rip hundreds of millions of dollars from trade, the nation's national broadcaster ABC reports.

The rising tensions will be watched closely across the Tasman in New Zealand.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters recently spoke out in support of Taiwan joining the World Health Organisation because of its remarkable handling of the Covid-19 outbreak.

But his comments drew a stern rebuke from China, which urged New Zealand to "stop making wrong statements" on Taiwan or risk damaging the two nations' relationship.

"China urges New Zealand to strictly abide by the 'one China' principle and immediately stop making wrong statements on Taiwan, to avoid damaging our bilateral relationship," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.

China is also the biggest importer of Kiwi meat in both volume and dollar value.

In March, the monthly value of New Zealand red meat and co-product exports topped $1 billion for the first time, according to an analysis by the Meat Industry Association.

Total exports hit $1.1b for the month, an increase of 12 per cent on March 2019.

Comments

Organ harvesting, gross human rights abuses, locking up millions of muslims etc etc is still enough for NZ to call out fascist China, so pathetic and shameful!

All of China's major trading countries need to appreciate Taiwan's global contribution by supporting them not only with WHO but also the UN.
Hong Kong has also had enough of the CCP.
This is the time for the world to stand up to CCP bullying tactics.
If the CCP wants to retract China back into a hermit state, then so be it.
They will need a permanent reminder of how they behaved and that we have not forgotten.
Neither Taiwan nor Bang Kong aspire to be military powers nor do they seek nuclear weapons so their only threat to the CCP is as a contrast between a single party political systems, with leaders for life, state controlled media, tight censorship backed by state repression, based on Marxist ideology and cultural superiority against, democratic open societies where our leadership and society as a whole, face constant security and accountability.
Now is the time for the whole world to decide how we all want to live.
China may be one country but it is definitely two systems.

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