News analysis

Sino-Aussie trade ties likely to remain intact despite diplomatic chill

When Australia's Trade Minister Simon Birmingham learnt that China had not only blocked beef imports but was also about to impose hefty tariffs on Australian barley, he tried to put a call through to his Chinese counterpart. But Beijing did not return the calls.

The problem for Canberra is that its escalating dispute with Beijing is not merely about trade. Both countries have experienced worsening ties in recent years as they quarrelled over Australia's efforts to curb foreign meddling and its ban on Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei from participating in its 5G network.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 24, 2020, with the headline 'Sino-Aussie trade ties likely to remain intact despite diplomatic chill'. Print Edition | Subscribe