China’s latest punitive action against Australia

The impact of China’s actions to avoid Australian products has been revealed – as it is increasingly condemned from around the world.

China is buying up Russia’s discounted coal as it deepens its alliance with the exiled commodity giant – while continuing to shun Australian products.

After the introduction of trade sanctions against Australia at the end of 2020, the value of China’s coal imports from Russia has soared, only to more than double at the beginning of this year in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the value of coal imports from Australia fell to nothing, except for a small spike in demand between October and Februaryaccording to analysis of Chinese customs data from: The Australian Financial Review

Beijing has refused to condemn its ally Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, and the two countries have drawn closer politically, trade and military as part of a “no borders” relationship.

This month, Chinese President Xi Jinping assured his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of China’s support for Russia’s “sovereignty and security”.

New data from S&P Global Market Intelligence showed that coal shipments from Russia to China have increased, although China has ramped up its own domestic production and is importing less overall, CNBC reported.

Russian sea kale deliveries to China rose a whopping 55 percent in the first 28 days of June, compared to the same period last year, for a total of 6.2 million tons. There was also a 20 percent increase in May.

Meanwhile, total coal imports into China fell 13.6 percent, to about 96 million tons, compared to a year ago. Domestic production increased by 10.4 percent between January and May, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China.

“Despite lower demand and higher domestic coal production, China has been purchasing significantly more Russian coal since May 2022,” Pranay Shukla, associate director of S&P Global Market Intelligence told CNBC.

“This is because Russia offers very high discounts on the prevailing international coal prices.”

China’s crude oil imports from Russia also rose 55 percent to a record high in May, making Russia the world’s largest supplier, a title previously held by Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported.

Russia has slashed the price of its resources as the European Union banned all Russian coal imports by condemning its invasion of Ukraine.

Last month, NATO, the military alliance between 32 North Atlantic countries, said China’s closer ties to Russia are against Western interests, prompting a fiery response from Beijing.

As a sign of growing concern about China, leaders from regional partners Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand also attended a NATO summit for the first time.

Meanwhile, Beijing appears to have ended Australia’s diplomatic freeze since Labor won federal elections in May and agreed to several meetings after years of rejecting its officials, though trade remains a sticking point.

After former Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus in 2020, China imposed trade restrictions on Australian lobster, beef, cotton and timber. It also placed tariffs on wine and barley and unofficially blocked coal and copper imports.

Since the change of government, Beijing has agreed to a number of meetings, including between new Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe, as well as a meeting between Australian Ambassador to China Graham Fletcher and Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Feng. the Australian reported.

However, a formal request by Commerce Secretary Don Farrell to meet with his counterpart on the sidelines of a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva was turned down.

Despite China’s refusal to buy Australian coal, Resources Minister Madeleine King said local miners had managed to find other markets.

“Exports to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and India grew rapidly, replacing Indonesian, South African, Canadian and Russian cargoes that went to those countries but now went to China,” she told the newspaper. AF

“Overall Australian Coal Export Volumes [for metallurgical and thermal coal] decreased by 1.5 percent in 2021 from 2020, but increased by 46 percent in value as a result of strong growth in global coal prices.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Anthony Albanian has stepped up sanctions against Russia and pledged to assist Ukraine “as long as necessary”.

During a visit to the war-torn country last week, Mr Albanian announced an import ban on Russian gold and sanctions and travel bans on an additional 16 Russian ministers and oligarchs.

Last week, NATO unveiled a new strategic blueprint that said for the first time that Beijing’s stated ambitions and coercive policies were putting its interests, security and values ​​to the test.

NATO’s leading power, the United States, has urged the alliance to pay more attention to China, despite the reluctance of some allies to divert attention from its focus on Europe.

On Thursday, Beijing criticized NATO for its “completely pointless” warning.

“NATO’s so-called new strategic concept paper ignores facts, confuses black and white… [and] contaminates China’s foreign policy,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular briefing Thursday.

He added that China strongly opposes it.

“We want to warn NATO that whipping up the so-called China threat is completely futile,” Zhao told reporters.

Prior to unveiling NATO’s new strategy, Beijing had already opposed the alliance for increasing its focus on Asia. Actions undermining the stability of the Asia-Pacific region, Mr Zhao said, were “doomed to fail”.

– with AFP

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