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China–Australia relations: Cold politics over hot economics

Getty Australia



This is the 112th article in the series The China Chronicles.

Read the articles here .

Despite varying political systems and conflicting alliances, China–Australia bilateral relationship has continued to flourish over the years through mutually beneficial trade links. However, relations between the two countries started to ebb in 2017 amidst concerns about China’s growing political influence on decision-making in Australia. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the tensions between the two countries. After Canberra demanded an independent inquiry into the origins and spread of COVID-19, the relations plummeted and swiftly spiralled downwards by the end of 2020.The cold politics finally spilled over to economic ties, impacting trade and investment ties between the two countries. China was quick to implement tariffs and export controls on its imports of goods from Australia—threatening US $25 billion worth of Australian exports. China’s subsequent changes in trade policies have been construed as economic coercion against Australia. A clear understanding of the implications of the tensions for both economies offers a view of the forthcoming trade trajectory and geoeconomic consequences. Deteriorating relations between China–Australia While Australia’s ‘independent review for COVID-19’ is often cited as the reason for the […]

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