China warning: Australia fears trade tariffs just the start of punishing attack

CHINA'S punishing trade tariffs aimed at restricting Australia's economy could be just the start of Xi Jinping's brutal strategy towards the state, an official has warned.

PUBLISHED: 15:12, Thu, Sep 3, 2020 | UPDATED: 15:12, Thu, Sep 3, 2020

China has instituted crippling tariffs on exports from the country forcing Australian Labor Party agriculture and resources spokesperson, Joel Fitzgibbon, to warn the taxes on goods are only just the start. Australia is incredibly reliant on exporting goods to China but was dealt a severe blow after Beijing put tariffs on wine, beef and barley. Mr Fitzgibbon has now admitted several other industries in the country fear tariffs could soon be instituted.

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According to the Australian Government, trade with China is valued at A$252billion (£138billion) and amounted to 17.3 percent of all trade in 2019.

In terms of exports sent to China also amount to 34.3 percent of the whole market at A$169billion (£92billion).

Due to Australia’s calls for an independent investigation into the origin of the virus, and removal of Huawei kit from the 5G network, Mr Fitzgibbon warned more may yet come.

He told Guardian Australia: “I fear barley, beef and wine are just stage one of a strategic response to the failure of the Turnbull and Morrison governments to show it places great value on the Australia-China relationship.”

China: Australia under threat from further sanctionsChina: Australia under threat from further sanctions (Image: PA)

China news: Relations have hit crisis levelsChina news: Relations have hit crisis levels (Image: PA)

In August, China launched an investigation into its trade with Australia.

Due to the crippling tariffs on the country's goods, Australian Strategic Policy Institute's (ASPI) Fergus Hanson, said the move was a clear example of the Chinese government flexing its muscle.

He told ABC: “Marking up the wine industry, the barley farmers or the tourism sector is more likely to have an impact on the Australian policymakers' decision-making processes.

“I think what's really unique about the Chinese Communist Party's approach here is that they do not make the threats explicit, so they don't draw the causal link between the action that's offended them.”

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