The confidential document by Chinese trade negotiators was obtained by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age two days after Australia lodged a formal complaint with the WTO last week. It threatens to throw Australia's dispute with China over Huawei back into the spotlight as both sides look to gain leverage in an increasingly hostile trade fight.
The Huawei decision in 2018 set off a chain of events that would lead to all ministerial contact being cut off within two years. Tensions rose sharply this year after Australia called for a coronavirus inquiry in April and criticised China’s human rights record. Beijing then launched trade strikes on up to $20 billion worth of Australian exports including coal, wine and beef.