Australia urged to reshape approach to China, act to improve bilateral ties: FM
Published: Jul 18, 2022 06:16 PM Updated: Jul 18, 2022 06:09 PM

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo: VCG
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo: VCG

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday urged Australia to seize the opportunity in bilateral relations and take concrete action to improve trade ties, in response to the Australian treasurer's call for easing coal trade relations with China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Monday said that China's position on practical cooperation with Australia and other countries has always been clear.

It is hoped that Australia can seize the opportunity to correct its approach to China-related issues, deal with China-Australia economic and trade relations based on mutual respect and benefits, and create favorable conditions for the healthy and stable development of China-Australia relations.

The remarks came after Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers called for a removal of the "coal restriction" on Australia on Sunday, saying that any move by China to "relax restrictions" on Australian coal exports to China would be a key step in restoring ties between the two nations, Bloomberg reported earlier.

Australia's previous two governments adopted a hardline and even hostile approach toward China, which worsened bilateral relations. 

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Chinese officials were studying a "potential shift" to import more Australian coal due to a "supply fear" at home.

Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Monday that from a market perspective, whether a shift is made or not won't affect the behavior of traders.

"China is not dependent on coal imports from Australia. As the price of Australian coal, which follows the global market, is much more expensive than that of domestically produced coal, Chinese traders are not likely to import (expensive) coal from Australia," Lin said.