mandag 5. april 2021

Australia-China Relations: The Great Debate

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 gave new meaning to the term annus horribilis, resulting in millions of deaths, countless suffering, endless lockdowns, and socioeconomic crises the world over. As the year progressed, Australia-China relations plummeted to new lows, making the “deep freeze” of recent years seem almost balmy. 

A significant trigger was Canberra’s push for an independent inquiry into the origins of the virus – one of the 14 “grievances” that have infuriated Beijing in recent years. Canberra was no more pleased by the growing number of Australian sectors targeted by Beijing: By the end of 2020, Chinese imports of goods including wine, lobster, sugar, coal, timber, barley, and copper ore had been subjected to a range of tariffs and other export controls, with projected losses of up to A$20 billion (US$15.2 billion) per year.