The Morrison administration will risk further deterioration of relations with China this week to push for legislation that will allow it to veto new and existing agreements between foreign powers and state governments, local councils or universities.
Advancing the Diplomatic Relations Bill may disintegrate Victoria and Beijing’s “One Belt One Road” agreement. This coincides with Australia’s expression of hope that with Joe Biden entering the White House, Canberra’s relations with China are expected to recover.
Although the federal government is concerned about the seriousness of the breakdown in Australia-China relations, it is determined to stick to what it calls measures needed to safeguard sovereignty. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison took advantage of Biden’s victory to issue a statement on Sunday. Gave a sharp message.
While congratulating Biden, Morrison invited Biden to visit Australia next year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of the "ANZUS" Security Treaty (ANZUS).
Morrison said: "Since its establishment, the Australia-New Zealand-US Alliance has always been the cornerstone of our Australian security."
"We have a common point of view, a peaceful world view and a view of life. A family can live together in peace and stability, can pursue their dreams with confidence, and plan their own future lives. These are all of us as two countries Values cherished."
But Australia-China relations are at a new low point. Beijing threatened to ban billions of Australian dollars worth of Australian exports and publicly warned through the media that it would punish Australia.
As bilateral relations deteriorated, Beijing portrayed Canberra as a puppet under orders from the United States.
The senior Morrison administration is not commenting on this, but admits that Australia and the United States have close alliances, and Donald Trump's confrontational attitude towards China has prompted Beijing to make this proposition.
"They chose to look at us from the perspective of the United States and Trump," a senior source said. "They were wrong."
Australia hopes that after visiting the main White House, Beijing’s attack route will be reduced and some of the heat in the situation in China will be eliminated.
But this week, when the Morrison administration advances the Foreign Relations Act, relations with China will be tested again.
The bill was announced at the end of August and will give the federal wide-ranging powers to veto new and existing agreements, such as the memorandum of understanding signed by Victorian Governor Daniel Andrews and China on the “Belt and Road” initiative in 8. City relations, or cooperative research projects between Australia and foreign universities.
Prior to this, Huawei was banned from participating in Australia's 5G construction, the Tan Bao government promulgated the Anti-Foreign Intervention Act, Morrison called for an investigation into the origin of the new crown virus, and Australia recently participated in naval exercises with regional allies.
The Labor Party supports the goals of the bill, but hopes to make changes, saying that the bill is not well drafted and may lead to unintended consequences.
These include granting ministers a wide range of free veto powers without proper supervision and failing to provide for procedural fairness.
In other words, ministers do not need to explain their decisions, and there is no review or appeal procedure.
Universities are very worried that this will affect their maintenance of fruitful international cooperation and maintaining Australia's world-class research capabilities, as well as the corresponding regulatory burden.
In addition, some people expressed concern about its constitutionality.
The shadow cabinet will consider the bill on Monday, and the caucus will study it on Tuesday.
$1500 billion trade with China blocked!Just because Australia did these two things wrong!
Companies involved in the A$1490 billion export trade to China are urging the Morrison government to find a "circuit breaker" to mend the relationship with Australia's largest trading partner.
The chairman of the Australia China Business Council, David Olsson, said the government should make better use of the business community to help find "breakers that can break the current deadlock."
"For decades, we have established countless relationships and contacts at the individual and institutional levels, which have a certain weight and influence, but so far these have not been properly utilized."
"It's time to do this," said Olsen, the international director of King & Wood Mallesons in Hong Kong.
The above comments were made at a closed-door meeting held by Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham (Simon Birmingham), Australian Ambassador to China Graham Fletcher (Graham Fletcher) and members of the Australia-China Chamber of Commerce last Friday. Their meeting time is in China. A few hours before the comprehensive ban on exports was implemented.
There are reports that China will ban the import of Australian wine, lobster, copper, sugar, wood and coal from last Saturday, which has created great anxiety in the affected industries.
There were no immediate signs of escalation of customs issues over the weekend, but in recent weeks, wine, lobster and coal have all been stranded, and all timber from Queensland has also been banned from importing.
Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said that the trade troubles arose after the Morrison government rejected two "olive branches" recently handed over by Beijing. The two olive branches refer to the deputy of the Chinese Embassy in Canberra. A speech by the director Wang Xining and an interview with another influential former ambassador to Australia Fu Ying.
Rudd said that Japan is a model of proper management of relations with China, "unlike Australia, relations with China often fluctuate."
He told ABC: "Morrison should learn from Tokyo, and future Australia-China relations should use this as a template."
Chinese officials first denied that the report of the comprehensive ban last week was a “rumor”, and then stated that “reducing imports of Australian-related products is the company’s own decision” and said on Friday that China’s policy on foreign imports is “reasonable and legal.” , Blameless".
At the meeting on Friday, Olsen stated that the incident demonstrated "the cruel status of trade with China."
"Geoeconomics 101 has now become an essential reading for all directors and business owners," he called on the government to cooperate with companies to jointly formulate a realistic new China policy to deal with the opportunities and challenges China brings.
The Labor Party’s trade spokesperson, Madeline King, also urged the government to hold a forum to “listen to the voices of business leaders who are seriously concerned about Australia-China relations”.
An agricultural industry association told The Australian that he and others who listened to the government briefing were disappointed with the official China policy.
At the business meeting on Friday, the Minister of Trade told companies that the government is still “ready and willing to engage in appropriate political dialogue and ministerial-level exchanges with (China) at any point in time”.
But he said that such contacts must respect Australia's "firm position."
"Australia, like any other sovereign country, will try to protect our interests and our institutions. People's expectations of us should not fall below this line, and our expectations of other countries will not fall below this line." He said.
Despite fears of deteriorating trade, many of the more than 180 Australian companies that have booths at China's largest annual trade show said that everything is going well.
The executive director of the Shanghai-Australian Chamber of Commerce (Bede Payne) said that a large number of his exhibiting members have signed contracts and memorandums of understanding, and contacted a large number of customers.
"Consumer demand for clean, green and safe Australian products does not appear to have been compromised."
He said that Australia's A$1490 billion export pillar to China has not been affected.
A supervisor of Tianjin Port, the largest in northern China, 170 kilometers southeast of Beijing, told The Australian: "I can tell you that iron ore is still being shipped from Australia."
Far more than just lobster!China fears to ban the import of all Australian seafood!
A leaked Morrison government memo warned all fishermen that they have been targeted by China. Under the new customs inspection system, any seafood products they send to Australia’s largest market may be detained for two weeks during customs clearance. Or even longer.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Environment released an "emergency notice" to the industry on Friday, warning that the annual A$7 million lobster trade will not be the only seafood involved in the trade dispute.
The market access proposal stated that “the border clearance of consignments may be subject to significant delays, which may affect all seafood exported from Australia”.
The department said that the new seafood inspection system may have been implemented from November 11. Chinese state media has identified this day as the day when Australian coal, barley, timber, wine, copper, lobster and sugar are banned from sale.
November 11th has passed. Although China has not issued any official notice, Australian exporters are unwilling to risk products being shut out of ports or airports to ship to the Chinese market.
"The time required for the laboratory to analyze [seafood] samples may be extended to two weeks," the Federal Ministry of Agriculture said. "At this stage, this department is aware of the export of other fishery products such as abalone, Atlantic salmon, and grouper. May be affected."
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture stated that official Chinese news is not transparent, and its news comes from commercial channels.
As far as lobster is concerned, the department said that it is understood that any live seafood may need to be tested for cadmium and other heavy metals at China's ports of entry.
Last week, after a batch of Australian live lobsters worth more than 200 million Australian dollars and weighing more than 20 tons were stranded on the tarmac of Shanghai Pudong Airport for many days, Australian lobster fishermen realized that trade with China was blocked. The deadlock has not yet occurred. solve.
Lobster exporters report that their long-term Chinese customers have received threats that if they continue to purchase Australian seafood, they will be sanctioned, and that Chinese officials will closely monitor the seafood market.
In terms of trade with China, the Ministry of Agriculture stated that although the delay in shipments has caused some business losses, it will continue to provide certification for goods that meet the requirements of the Export Control Law.
"Although this department will continue to facilitate market access and try to convey the latest and most accurate requirements of importing countries, this department encourages exporters to fully consider their own risks and possible losses," said the Ministry of Agriculture.
In the absence of an official opinion on the new heavy metal testing system in China, the Ministry of Agriculture is working to update its "Importing Country Requirements Manual" and update it based on the known maximum limits of pollutants in fishery products stipulated by China's national food standards.
The Seafood Trade Advisory Group, which represents Australia’s largest lobster company, urged the Morrison government to “restore meaningful dialogue and communication with China to resolve the issue of trade disruption”.
The advisory working group stated that the lobster industry has already begun to plan to sell its products to other markets, but fishermen are worried that due to the suspension of trade with China and the plunge in prices, they will not even be able to recover the costs.
The arrested "Chinese agent" quit the Liberal Party!If convicted, face up to ten years in prison!
A member of the Liberal Party accused of preparing for foreign interference has withdrawn from the Victorian branch of the party because outsiders have asked him to suspend.
Sunny Duong, president of the Oceania Federation of Vietnamese-Cambodian Old Chinese Groups and a member of the board of directors of the Australian Chinese History Museum in Melbourne, became the first person to be charged under Australia’s landmark Anti-Foreign Interference Act last Thursday.
Yang Yisheng is suspected of ties to the United Front Work Department, Beijing's overseas influence department.
A senior member of the Liberal Party who was not authorized to speak publicly told the Times and Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday evening that Yang Yisheng had already offered to resign and the Liberal Party had accepted his resignation.
Liberal party leaders including Victorian Liberal Party leader Michael O'Brien and federal backbenchers Tim Wilson and James Paterson have called on the Liberal Party to expel Yang Yisheng from the party.
Sources in the security agency confirmed that the investigations by the counterintelligence agency ASIO and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) focused at least in part on Yang Yisheng’s alleged attempt to influence the activities of the Liberal Party’s Victoria branch.
Existing evidence shows that Yang Yisheng's so-called plan to participate in foreign intervention is only in the preparation stage, and no significant progress has been made.
The AFP alleged that Yang Yisheng had connections with foreign intelligence agencies, but it did not name specific countries.
Yang Yisheng has been in contact with the Liberal Party since the 80s, and in 1996 as the party’s candidate for the Richmond State Assembly.
Although he has been in contact with the Liberal Party for decades, the senior Liberal Party has played down his influence, saying that he has never been an important person.
Yang Yisheng, 65, had not responded to calls from acquaintances in the months before his arrest last Thursday.
He was released on bail in Melbourne Magistrates Court last Thursday and will appear in court on March 3 next year for a commissioned arraignment.
Yang Yisheng once complained to a colleague that he was stopped by the authorities when he returned from an overseas trip, and his computer and mobile phone were searched.
The anti-foreign interference task force led by ASIO and AFP conducted a year-long investigation before carrying out the arrest.
On October 10, AFP raided some Melbourne properties related to Yang Yisheng.
If convicted, Yang Yisheng will face up to 10 years in prison.