Chinese customs clears 3,626 Australian cattle amid rising tensions

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/20 13:05:51

Photo: CFP

About 3,600 high-quality Australian cattle have entered China through Qinzhou Port, in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region last week – a move that signals ongoing trade between China and Australia despite foreign media’s accusations that China is imposing “political revenge” through a trade ban.

According to a post on Chinese customs’ official Sina Weibo account, 3,626 high-quality Australia cattle for breeding were fast tracked through Qinzhou Port on Friday and are currently being held in an isolation field for supervision.

The imports come at a time of heightened bilateral tension between China and Australia in recent months. Previously, China had reportedly issued informal verbal bans on Australian imports of coal and cotton, which were interpreted by foreign media outlets as China's "political revenge" amid souring ties between Beijing and Canberra.

Until now, Qinzhou customs has supervised the import of more than 10,900 cattle, and become the most convenient base for Australian cattle imports along the southwest coast.

In July, China imported a total of 1,785 live cattle from Australia. The shipment, mainly Angus beef cattle, was granted zero-tariff treatment for the first time, according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency.

China's overall beef imports surged by 38.8 percent in the first three quarters of this year.

Chinese authorities did not offer a clear answer when questioned about the reported coal ban with Australia, but experts have repeatedly warned that the deteriorating bilateral relationship will steer trade relations into a dead-end that Australia can hardly bear.

Bilateral trade in the first three quarters shrank 1.1 percent year-on-year, with Chinese imports of Australian products in particular down 5.1 percent, Li Kuiwen, a Chinese customs spokesperson said.

Global Times 

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