China warns further trade blows
In the latest tit-for-tat, China’s Ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, has warned tourism could be the next industry to be hurt by deteriorating relations between the 2 nations. The Australia-China business community has been bracing for more retaliation after the Federal Government last week cancelled Victoria’s Belt and Road agreement with China. Addressing the Australia China Business Council on Thursday, Cheng said Australia had “poisoned the atmosphere”, and Chinese students and tourists will question whether to travel to the country after the pandemic, claiming rising racial discrimination. It would be a major economic blow to Australia’s Chinese tourism market, which reached a high of $12.4 billion in 2019 – 27% of total spending by foreign tourists. Beijing’s retaliatory strikes have been hardest felt by Aussie wine producers who are reeling from a 96% drop in the value of their exports to China after it imposed tariffs late last year.
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