China bans meat from four Australian abattoirs after threatening revenge if Scott Morrison continued to push for a coronavirus inquiry
Four Australian abattoirs have been suspended from exporting red meat to China.
The Kilcoy Pastoral Company, Beef City in Toowoomba, Brisbane’s Dinmore meatworks and the Northern Co-operative Meat Company at Casino, New South Wales have been temporarily blacklisted, according to the Weekly Times.
Industry sources told The Australian the bans may be due to technicalities.
Four Australian abattoirs have been suspended from exporting red meat to China (stock image)
On Monday it emerged China’s Ministry of Commerce has threatened to slap an 73 per cent import tariff on Australian barley after an 18-month anti-dumping investigation.
Dumping is when a country exports a product unfairly cheaply to permeate a foreign market, with producers often subsidised by the government.
The moves come after the federal government’s calls for a ban on wet markets and an inquiry into the virus origins – as well as repeated suggestions that China covered up the spread of the disease – have infuriated Beijing.
Last month the Chinese Embassy called Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton ‘pitiful,’ ‘ignorant’ and a US ‘parrot’ after he told China to ‘answer questions’ about how coronavirus started.
On April 26 Chinese Ambassador to Australia Jingye Cheng warned that Chinese consumers may stop buying Australian products in revenge.
‘Maybe the ordinary people will think why they should drink Australian wine or eat Australian beef,’ he told the AFR.
The dispute comes after a torrid year for Australia-China relations saw clashes over political interference, human rights abuses in western China and Huawei 5G equipment.
Former Australian ambassador to China Geoff Raby told Daily Mail Australia that diplomatic relations are ‘at their lowest point since they began 46 years ago’.
AMBASSADOR’S ECONOMIC THREAT TO AUSTRALIA
In an interview with the Australian Financial Review, Ambassador Cheng slammed Australia’s push for a global inquiry as ‘political’ and warned Chinese consumers could boycott the country.
Answering a question about whether China could boycott Australian iron ore or gas, Mr Cheng instead focused on China’s contribution to Australia’s agriculture, tourism and education sectors.
Mr Cheng said: ‘I think if the mood is going from bad to worse, people would think why we should go to such a country while it’s not so friendly to China.
‘The tourists may have second thoughts. Maybe the parents of the students would also think whether this place, which they find is not so friendly, even hostile, is the best place to send their kids to.
‘So it’s up to the public, the people to decide. And also, maybe the ordinary people will think why they should drink Australian wine or eat Australian beef.’