Australian ambassador to Beijing Graham Fletcher has accused China of being “vindictive” in trade between the two eastern nations.
Officials out of Australia’s Department of Domestic and Foreign trade confirmed that trade with China had fallen across all major industries, and trade numbers themselves largely reflecting China’s increased demand for iron ore.
China has begun targeting multiple Australian industries for increased taxation, having already set an experimental tariff on Australian wine. Officials in the Foreign Trade Department think it is likely this tariff might increase in the coming days.
Fletcher released a statement to accompany the findings, as well as his own view of the current trade conditions between the two nations.
“I’m not sure China understands the damage its causing, both in Australia and internationally,” said Fletcher, who would go further to call China an “unreliable” trade partner and “even vindictive”.
The dispute has caused US President Joe Biden to formally speak on the matter, saying that it represents a larger issue of “autocracy v.s. democracy”. Biden has also gone on record saying that Chinese President Xi Jinping “doesn’t have a democratic bone in his body”.
The freshly elected President has taken a particularly hard line on China, and meetings between US and Chinese officials in Anchorage have been “tough and direct” according to reports.
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