China urges Australia to create favorable atmosphere for further development of bilateral ties following TikTok ban
Published: Apr 07, 2023 01:29 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China's Commerce Ministry urged Australia to provide fair and just environment for all types of firms on Friday, to allow for creating a favorable environment for further development of bilateral trade ties following Canberra's move to ban video-sharing app TikTok on government devices earlier this week.

The Australian government banned TikTok on government devices on Tuesday over so-called security concerns, which came into effect "as soon as practicable," Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said in a statement, noting that the ban came after "receiving advice from intelligence and security agencies."

The move means all members of the so-called Five Eyes alliance have banned the app from government devices, Reuters reported.

Calling Australia's ban in the Chinese company as "discriminatory," an unnamed official from China's Commerce Ministry said in a statement on Friday that the move is not conducive to maintaining Australia's national security, but will damage the confidence of the international community in Australia's business environment.

It will also damage the interests of Australian companies and the public, the official said.

"We urge the Australian side to treat all types of enterprises fairly and justly, provide an open, transparent and non-discriminatory business environment, while creating a favorable atmosphere for the development of China-Australia economic and trade cooperation," read the statement.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said earlier on Tuesday that China has made "solemn demarches" to the Australian side over the TikTok ban on government devices.

Coming as trade connections between the two nations are seeing signs increasing, experts are warning that the Australia's move on a Chinese firm is in no doubt a blow to momentum, asking Canberra to add fuel rather than delaying the restoring ties. 

Amid the uncertainties between China and the US, Australia cannot resist the allure of the Chinese market, but it still follows the US and is unable to adopt an independent foreign policy, Song Wei, a professor at the school of international relations and diplomacy at Beijing Foreign Studies University told the Global Times. 

Song noted that Australia should inject confidence to enterprises from both sides, cautioning that its repeatedly wavering stance could result in Chinese enterprises doubting the prospects of bilateral cooperation, and may cause significant economic losses for the nation.

China-Australia economic and trade relations are "at an important juncture of stabilization and improvement," Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said on Monday in Beijing during a meeting with Tim Yeend, associate secretary of Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The two sides should strengthen communication and coordination, and properly resolve their respective concerns through bilateral or multilateral channels… and inject momentum into China-Australia economic and trade cooperation, Wang said.

China-Australia trade volume amounted to 259.7 billion yuan ($37.47 billion) in January and February, with both imports and exports achieving double-digit growth year-on-year, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed in early March.

Global Times