torsdag 6. mai 2021

China suspends economic dialogue with Australia

China on Thursday suspended an economic dialogue with Australia, stepping up a pressure campaign that began over Australian support for a probe of the coronavirus and has disrupted exports to the country’s biggest foreign market. Relations have plunged to a multi-decade low since Beijing blocked imports of Australian coal, wheat and other goods over the past year. But it has failed to force Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government to offer concessions.

Thursday’s suspension “signals a deterioration of the diplomatic relationship” but is largely symbolic, said Caitlin Byrne, a specialist on Australia’s diplomatic relations in the Asia-Pacific region. She said officials haven’t met since 2017. “It’s certainly an important and symbolic move, but in terms of substance, the impact here is limited,” said Byrne, director of the Griffith Asia Institute at Australia’s Griffith University. The Chinese government accused Australia of taking steps “to disrupt normal exchanges” due to a “Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination.”