Europe tells China to have ‘proper discussion’ with Australia on trade disputes
The EU’s top diplomat in Canberra urged China to have a “proper discussion” with Australia over its multibillion-dollar trade disputes and left the door open for the EU to join. a claim against Beijing at the World Trade Organization.
EU Ambassador to Australia Michael Pulch said Europe’s message to China was: “We have an international system that guides our trade and China should apply them the same way it does. expects others to apply them. “
Over the past year, China has imposed more than $ 20 billion in tariffs on Australian products – including beef, barley, wine and lobster – in response to Canberra’s demand for an independent investigation into the coronavirus, as well as other national security decisions. Australia has already filed a WTO complaint against China over the barley dispute, as it is about to take action on wine tariffs.
In an exclusive interview with The Sydney Morning Herald and AgeMr Pulch said Europe’s general approach was to join the demands of the WTO “whenever a systemic problem arises”. Asked whether Beijing’s trade strikes against Canberra posed a systemic threat, Dr Pulch said: “There are several issues that are … restrictive for Australia’s trade as far as China is concerned. .
“We are always in favor of countries opening up the possibility of speaking and discussing this issue,” he said. “We therefore fully support the need for Australia to have a proper discussion with the Chinese side on these issues, as we would like to have this with China whenever some of our trade issues are concerned.”
The EU is currently developing an Indo-Pacific strategy with the aim of strengthening its presence in the region amid growing tensions, notably in Hong Kong, the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait. Dr Pulch said the strategy will likely be finalized before the end of the year.
The European Parliament voted last week not to ratify an investment deal with China until Beijing removes tit-for-tat sanctions it has imposed on European officials, lawmakers and researchers. China imposed the sanctions after Europe and other countries sanctioned Chinese officials for human rights violations against the Uyghur population in Xinjiang province.
Dr Pulch said that the EU-China investment deal has been “put aside” and that for now “there will be no incentive or measure to actually propose it for ratification”.