Australia files WTO dispute against China - RN Drive

Australia files WTO dispute against China - RN Drive

"I have repeatedly heard some people from the Australian side claim to be the so-called victims, constantly accusing and attacking China by innuendo, which is completely making a countercharge confusing right and wrong".

"In fact, it is the Australian side that has been politicising economic, investment and technological issues, and discriminating against Chinese companies in violation of market economy principles and global trade rules", Mr Wang said.

He added that Australia remained opened to solving the dispute outside of the WTO case "if both parties are willing to come to the table".

Although A$4 billion of A$13 billion ($3 billion of $9.8 billion) in thermal coal exports went to China, it was not Australia's largest customer, said Morrison. It has hit Australian barley and wine with crippling tariffs and told traders to stop buying commodities including copper, sugar, timber and lobster.

Australian authorities are now scrambling to stack up the reports.

However Mr Wang refuted Australia's stance that they are being unfairly targeted by China.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesman of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a news briefing on Tuesday that he was not aware of the specific situation when asked about the reports.

The Australian government on Tuesday said that it would "defend the rights" of Australian exporters after reports emerged that China was restricting imports of Australian coal in favour of coal sourced from Indonesia and Russian Federation.

Beijing's opaque action in the resources sector involved "disruption through use of state influence with different companies", Birmingham said on Tuesday.

Relations between China and Australia have deteriorated in recent months, especially from the fallout of Australia's call for an independent inquiry into the initial outbreak of coronavirus in China.

New Hope Corp ended 2.7 per cent lower, China-controlled Yancoal Australia shed 8.4 per cent, and Whitehaven Coal lost about 6 per cent.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham is seeking help from the World Trade Organization to resolve a dispute with China over massive tariffs imposed on Australian barley.

He said China's actions this year against Australian exports was bad for worldwide trade.

Australia has other options for now However, while the major split with China over trade policy provides serious concerns, Australia has managed to so far find other markets to compensate due to higher demand in countries like India, Japan and South Korea.

China also claims Australia has discriminated against Chinese companies - in violation of worldwide trade rules - by hampering their ability to invest in Australia.

"Australia has consistently stood firmly by our values and principles and our farmers at all times, and it is important that we continue to protect our sovereignty into the future", Littleproud said.

Birmingham said the WTO process could takes years to be resolved.

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