Beijing – The trade war between China and Australia has intensified further. China decided to reduce the import of natural gas from Australia and instead increase imports from the central Asian country of Turkmenistan. Only last week, China indefinitely postponed the discussions regarding an economic agreement with Australia.
China is known to be the largest trade partner for Australia. In 2019, China had a share of a whopping 29% in the total Australian trade. The agreement signed in 2015 and efforts from the Chinese side were responsible for this growth. But the relations between the two countries started to fester over the last few years; the new Chinese decision seems to be a part of this.
Last year, Australia had a 46% share in the Chinese natural gas imports. Now the Chinese companies have been instructed not to sign fresh agreements with Australia. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi informed that preference would be given to Russia and central Asian countries instead of Australia.
China has imposed taxes on the products imported from Australia and has even imposed an unannounced ban on certain items. Now, China seems to be initiating steps to corner Australia further, with this decision to stop natural gas imports from Australia.