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Australia has politicized trade, investment with China: Chinese FM

作者:admin 2020-12-16

Australia has politicized trade, investment with China: Chinese FM

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin. Photo: VCG

China's measures on some Australian products conform to Chinese law and international practices and the moves are taken to protect Chinese industry and consumers, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday. 

As to some Aussie politicians' allegation that Australia is victimized by China, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the accusations are baseless and confusing the public.

"China does not accept this. In fact, it is Australia that has been politicizing bilateral issues of economic, trade, investment and technology. Australia violated market principles, international economic and trade practices by adopting discriminatory measures against Chinese firms," Wang said, adding Canberra has gone too far on the wrong track.

Responding to a question of China-imposed ban on the imports of Australian coal, Wang said he had no information on the matter.  

Citing the deaths of more than 10 Chinese backed projects in Australia in the name of the so-called protecting its national security, Wang said those failed projects have brought about huge losses to Chinese firms, including CK Infrastructure Holdings and Chinese diary giant China Mengniu Diary. 

In March and June, Australia made significant changes to its foreign investment law, widely seen as targeting China. "This has broken the promises made in the China-Australia free trade agreement which is meant to facilitate bilateral investment and lower the threshold for investment review," Wang noted. 

As a result, Chinese investment in Australia plunged since 2017, dropping by 85 percent from 2016 to 2019. 

In addition, without any evidence, Australia took the decision to ban Chinese firms from building 5G networks in the name of its national security, Wang said, noting "there is no reasonable explanation given by Australia so far."

Equally irrational is the number of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations initiated by Australia toward Chinese products, which has now hit 106, while China only launched four such investigations, the official said. 

He noted a slew of Australian measures have violated market principles and the spirit of China-Australia FTA, damaged bilateral cooperation and hurt Australia's image and reputation. By contrast, China follows its promises by lowering import tariffs on Australian products for six consecutive years. 

More than 150 Australian firms took part at the 3rd China International Import Expo, showing their great confidence in the Chinese market, according to Wang. 

"What worries me is the politicizing of normal trade and economic activities without any reasons; violation of the basic norms of international relations; interference of other countries' internal affairs, and even the stirring up of disputes and confrontation," Wang said, hoping Australia could provide positive conditions and atmosphere for bilateral cooperation in all areas. 

Global Times

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