How Australia’s trade with China became a political weapon – FOUR CORNER Monday

In the past twelve months, China has launched a wave of trade sanctions against Australia.

Industry after industry has been hit with a series of punitive measures, ranging from massive new taxes to import restrictions.

As a result, many Australian products have been effectively banned from entering China, leaving businesses that depend on this trade in jeopardy.

“I have the impression that we are only a pawn in their political game.” Winemaker, South Australia

“We are all in survival mode. We are doing our best. That’s all we can do. Lobster fisherman, Tasmania

Monday Four corners investigating what lies behind China’s trade war with Australia.

“They strategically choose Australia where it has the least impact on their economy.” Grain farmer, WA

Australia’s call for an independent review of the causes of the COVID-19 outbreak in China is often cited as the trigger. But as Four corners demonstrates that this conflict is motivated by a much broader range of concerns.

“The intention is for China to change Australian policy iincluding on the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Huawei and foreign interference issues. »Economist

Four corners reveals how trade sanctions appear to have been carefully programmed and targeted over and over again to cause maximum damage.

“Waiting until after… much of the Australian barley crop had been planted, was that strategic? I think so. Grain farmer, WA

Traveling from the barley fields of the salt lake country of WA to the lobster trawlers of Hobart, Four corners shows the human and financial cost of the ongoing conflict.

“The market actually fell to zero. We have to find a new home for $ 1.1 billion worth of wine. »Wine Industry Spokesperson, South Australia

“It’s terrible. I rent the boat, I have a crew to watch, we have three families who live off my family business and at the moment I don’t see a future for us. Lobster fisherman

Despite the challenges, some of those suffering the most say Australia has no choice but to stand firm.

“Unfortunately, I think about our democracy, our way of life, everything we care about in Australia. Whether it’s China or some other country, I think Australia has to defend itself. “Seafood processor

Poking the Dragon, reported by Stephen Long, airs Monday 26the April at 8:30 p.m.

It is replayed on Tuesday 27e April at 1:00 p.m. and Wednesday 28e at 11:20 p.m. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS on Saturdays at 8:10 p.m. AEST, ABC iview and to abc.net.au/4corners.


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