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Factbox: Australia, China diplomacy from free trade to freeze


Printed Chinese and Australian flags are seen in this illustration, July 21, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Files

2015 – China, Australia free trade agreement begins in December.

2016 – Strategic partnership agreement struck for annual meetings between Australia’s prime minister and the Chinese premier.

2017 – Australia, concerned about rising Chinese influence, says it will ban foreign political donations as part of a crackdown to prevent external interference in domestic politics.

2018 – Australia bans Huawei Technologies Co Ltd from supplying equipment for its planned 5G broadband network, based on national security advice.

April 2020 – China’s then ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, says in response to Australia’s call for an international inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic that the Chinese public would boycott Australian wine, beef and tourism.

June 2020 – China warns students heading overseas against choosing universities in Australia, threatening a $27.5 billion market for educating foreign students. Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison tells media: “I’m never going to trade our values in response to coercion.”

September 2020 – Australian citizen Cheng Lei, a business anchor for Chinese state television in Beijing, is detained.

November 2020 – China imposes anti-dumping tariffs on Australian wine, blocks live lobster imports, and halts timber and barley shipments. China’s embassy lists 14 grievances with Australia, including the blocking of 10 Chinese investments on national security grounds.

December 2020 – Australia raises concerns at WTO meeting about China taking measures to restrict or ban shipments of Australian barley, wine, meat, dairy, live seafood, logs, timber, coal and cotton.

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