Prime Minister Albanese is in China this week. The Australia-China trade relationship has been fraught with tension, stemming from a complex interplay of geopolitical rivalry, human rights concerns, and security issues. Australia’s push for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19, and its outspoken criticism of China’s actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, led to diplomatic strains, with China retaliating by imposing tariffs and import restrictions on key Australian exports like barley, wine, and beef.
Furthermore, China’s increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea and its economic coercion tactics have triggered a defensive response from Australia, leading to calls for diversification of trade partnerships and a reevaluation of reliance on the Chinese market. The once mutually beneficial economic ties now face the challenges of trust deficit and ideological clashes, complicating the prospects of smooth trade relations.
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