Our biggest allies could jump to Australia’s defence in its escalating trade war against China as tensions between the two nations continue to sour.
Nations such as New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States could join forces with Australia and hit back to Beijing by imposing their own retaliatory sanctions on Chinese goods and produce.
Cotton and lamb exports are the latest to join the growing list of Australian products sanctioned by China, which include beef, barley, wine, lobster, cotton, seafood and coal.
Australia is part of Five Eyes, a long running intelligence alliance alongside Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Five Eyes nations are reportedly in preliminary discussions on how to respond to China’s sanctions with one source describing cooperation within the alliance as ‘off the charts at the moment’, NewsCorp reported.
China has taken aim at the Australian wine industry with 212 per cent tariff. Pictured is a wine representative inspecting Australian wine in Shanghai
Australian allies such as New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and the US could join forces to hit back at China’s trade war. Pictured is New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Talks are gaining momentum among high level federal government officials in Canberra and is also being given much consideration in Washington, the publication reported.
There are several strategies as to how Five Eyes could hit back at China.
One option is that all five nations impose own sanctions on Chinese goods, produce and services.
Another would be for Australia to respond with retaliatory tariffs on products from Beijing, and the four allied nations showed their support by refusing to make up the shortfall in Chinese exports.
There’s also growing talk Japan could join and be part of a new Six Eyes alliance.
Australia is a member of Five Eyes, an intelligence alliance alongside Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Pictured is British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Timber has joined a growing list of Australian exports. Pictured is Australian eucalyptus firewood
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (pictured) could jump to Australia’s defence in its escalating trade war against China
Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Institute director Fergus Hanson recently authored a report calling for a Five Eyes response to China’s trade sanctions to be similar to NATO’s article 5, which states an attack on any one NATO country is an attack on them all.
NATO invoked Article 5 the day after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
Mr Hanson believes retaliatory sanctions would ‘look to do the same thing in China to make sure the CCP realise it’s a two-way street.’
‘I think it’s pretty clear our current approach is not a solution to this problem. What we are doing now is a failing strategy,’ he told NewsCorp.
‘It is absolutely critical we turn the tide on this.’
‘You’d only have to do it once to demonstrate coercive diplomacy was now too costly.’
Five Eyes nations are reportedly in preliminary discussions on how to respond to China’s sanctions. Pictured is former US President Donald Trump
China boldly claimed the demand for Australian wine will ‘crater’ after the industry was dealt a ‘destructive blow’ by new crippling tariffs (pictured, Australian wine on sale in Shanghai)
China had already imposed a 212 per cent tariff on Australian wine last week (pictured, bottles on display in Shanghai on December 1
The latest development comes as China has boldly gloated that Australian wine exports will plummet under new tariffs – wiping millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs from the industry – while claiming the only reason they bought our bottles was because they were ‘cheap’.
The claim was made in a piece by the Global Times, a mouthpiece for the communist government, after China imposed additional 6.3 per cent duties on Australian wine from Friday.
The Beijing-sponsored newspaper said the only reason Chinese consumers bought Australian wine was because it’s ‘cheap’, and would now look to buy wine from other countries such as Chile.
The article, which was published on Thursday, claims the new trade tariffs could cause a wine and grape ‘glut’ in Australia when demand from Chinese importers drops .
China had already imposed a 212 per cent tariff on Australian wine last week, something the tabloid described as a ‘destructive blow’.
Chinese wine importer Long Guanyu, who bought 200,000 bottles of Australian wines this year, said his company was no looking at other countries.
‘Chinese customers chose Australian wines over those from other sources because they can get the same quality at a cheaper price,’ he said from his base in Xiamen, Southeast China’s Fujian Province.
‘It (the new tariffs) will have a huge effect on my business, because after these tariffs, the price will be at least three times higher,
‘I expect that the volume of imported Australian wine will sharply decrease.’
Australia currently exports a staggering 39 per cent of all its wine product to China, one of our biggest trading partners.
The massive tariffs and duties comes after claims by the Beijing foreign exporters that Australian winemakers were ‘dumping’ cheap wine on the Chinese market.
Australian exporters have already felt the brunt of harsh tariffs, with one winemaker losing $240,000 ‘overnight’ due to cancelled orders.
Coby Ladwig, who runs Western Australia’s Rosenthal Wines, has been sending about 50 per cent of his stock to China for the past four years.
Australian exporters have already felt the brunt of harsh tariffs, with one winemaker losing $240,000 ‘overnight’ due to cancelled orders (pictured, Australian wine in Shanghai)
He said the instant loss of business was a ‘massive hit’ especially after losing business during the coronavirus pandemic.
‘I really like the Chinese culture and people and we had built up a really good following, so to have all that cut off has been pretty hard to take,’ he told news.com.au.
‘I couldn’t believe the relationship was just cut off overnight – there was a feeling of disbelief, because we heard rumours something might be happening, but there was a bit of denial at first.
Australia’s total export markets in 2019
1. China: $135 billion (33% of total Australian exports)
2. Japan: $36 billion (9%)
3. South Korea: $21 billion (5%)
4. United Kingdom: $16 billion (3.8%)
5. United States: $15 billion (3.7%)
‘I’ve had quite a few sleepless nights and it’s obviously devastating for us.’
He said Chinese importers were also losing out due to the ongoing trade war between Canberra and Beijing.
The authoritarian state’s wine sanction are only part of the trade subsidies on a range of Australian goods following Canberra publicly calling for an inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic, which in widely believed to have originated in Wuhan.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham lashed out at China earlier this week, warning that the world is watching for developments.
‘Australia is not the only country that has seen these types of punitive measures and I expect the rest of the world will be watching quite closely what is happening in Australia,’ he said.
The European Council on Foreign Relations spoke out on Thursday saying: ‘China’s actions against Australia show how far it is already willing to go on economic coercion’.
Relations between Australia have reached their lowest point in decades this year with a litany of diplomatic spats compromising the robust economic partnership.
The banning of Huawei from the nation’s 5G network in 2018 on the grounds of national security concerns infuriated the totalitarian state, but it was Mr Morrison’s call for an independent international inquiry in the origins of the coronavirus back in April which prompted a drastic response from Beijing.
China immediately slapped the 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley, suspended beef imports and told students and tourists not to travel Down Under.
Australian plans to take China to the World Trade Organisation over ‘politically motivated’ tariff increases (pictured, President Xi Jinping left and Prime Minister Scott Morrison right)
Beijing again responded with fury and outrage this month when Mr Morrison set off to Japan – one of China’s greatest historic rivals – to strengthen trade and military ties.
Furious Australians have since vowed to boycott some of the nation’s biggest wine brands after a viral post named and shamed 41 vineyards with links to China.
Many Australians were stunned to discover how many wineries were owned by or had links to Chinese investors as the list circulated online on Wednesday.
Daily Mail Australia does not suggest the owners of the vineyards support China’s communist regime or that they are influenced by Beijing.
And some of the vineyards singled out by the Vino e Amigos Facebook page hit back at calls for their popular wines to be blacklisted, labelling the proposed boycott as un-Australian, unfair and misguided.
Kilikanoon Wines, based in South Australia, is owned by Chinese winemaker Changyu Pioneer Wine Co
Knappstein was bought up by Australian Yinmore Wines, which was part of the China-based Yunnan Yinmore Group, reportedly for $15million
The tense political situation reached fever pitch after Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted a doctored image in early December showing a grinning Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child.
The artwork referred to revelations made last month in the Bereton inquiry, claiming 25 Australian soldiers unlawfully killed 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison demanded an apology and called for the Asian superpower to take down the ‘repugnant’ fake image.
Australian embassy officials met with Chinese Foreign Ministry representatives seeking a formal apology over the fake image.
But Beijing has since doubled down on their attacks against Australia, posting another controversial image in a state-owned newspaper depicting a kangaroo with a blood soaked knife in a bow tie.
Some of the Australian vineyards with Chinese links
Bought last year by Australian Yinmore Wines, which was part of the China-based Yunnan Yinmore Group, reportedly for $15 million.
Owned by Chinese winemaker Changyu Pioneer Wine Co.
The company purchased an 80 per cent stake in the winery in 2018 for $20.6 million.
In August this year the company bought a 15 per cent stake in the winery for $3.91 million.
Hong Kong Yingda Investment Co bought a large chunk of the vineyard in 2014.
It sold to Chinese investors in 2018 for $6.6 million.
1847 Wines and Chateau Yaldara
Chinese businessman Arthur Wang purchased the winery for an undisclosed sum in 2010.
Mr Wang also bought the renowned Chateau Yaldara in 2014 for $15.5million.
Chinese company Swan Wine Group own the vineyard – which was hit with the lowest tariff barrier when Beijing imposed a levy up to 212 per cent on Aussie wine last week.
The Chinese firm Jia Yuan Hua Wines took ownership of the vineyard for $3million in 2017.
Woodside Valley Estate and the Perth Hills Western Range were bought by the Hong Kong-based business Palinda Wines for an undisclosed amount in 2012.
A Chinese company bought a majority stake in the popular company in 2011
It was established by Chinese owners in 1999. It has an office in Beijing and distributes wines around China.
It was bought by Chinese investors for a rumoured $4.6 million in 2018.
Wild Cattle Creek
The estate, near Seville, was bought by Chinese investors for $8.5 million in 2018
NEW SOUTH WALES
The Hunter Valley winery was purchased by wealthy Chinese investor, Wang Zhe, in 2016.
It’s rumored the businessman tried a glass of Chardonnay at the winery and enjoyed it so much he asked to buy the entire estate.
The 16-hectare changed hands for $1.89 million in 2011 after being snapped up by Chinese buyers.