Australia urged to steer bilateral relations back to normal

"Although it's more difficult and requires more investment to exploit iron ore in Africa, diversification yields long-term benefits in terms of the security of resources," Wang said.Iron ore is an important raw material of steel. Most of the iron ore China needs comes from Australia and Brazil, accounting for about 60 percent and 20 percent of total imports, respectively.China imported 1.17 billion tons of iron ore in 2020, an increase of 9.5 percent year-on-year, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed.However, China's iron ore imports from Australia as a share of the market dropped about 1.3 percentage points year-on-year last year, reflecting increased purchases from other countries, Wang said.Closely following the US' anti-China campaign, Australia launched a series of ferocious attacks on China. It took the lead to impose a blanket ban on Huawei, curbing China's technological development, while cooperating with former US president Donald Trump's blame-shifting tactics, in calling for an "independent inquiry" into the origin and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.Even if there was no friction between China and Australia, Chinese companies would still make the reasonable choice of diversifying their supply of the key raw material to ensure safety, Chen Hong, a professor and director of the Australian Studies Center at East China Normal University, told the Global Times. "Australia's move of coordinating with the US to contain China and constantly politicize economic and trade problems with China - including discrimination against Chinese investment - has seriously lowered Chinese companies' favorable assessment of Australia," Chen said.He said that Australia's erroneous remarks and actions concerning a raft of issues that involve China have shattered China's confidence in being a trade partner of Australia, and therefore China has started to look for other friendly and welcoming partners. "The China-Australia economic and trade relationship has worsened to its lowest level in history," Chen said, urging Australia to steer the bilateral relationship back to normal and reasonable conditions, in a bid to join hands with China to contribute to regional economic recovery during the post-COVID-19 era.

April 05, 2021 10:32 UTC

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