Australia urged China on Sunday to respond to its requests to discuss easing tensions between the two trading partners after Canberra called for an international enquiry into the origins of the novel coronavirus, reported Reuters.
China, accusing Australia of playing “petty tricks,” has recently suspended beef imports from four of Australia’s largest meat processors and is considering imposing hefty tariffs on imports of barley.
Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has requested discussions on the trade issues with his Chinese counterpart, he said in a television interview on the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) on Sunday.
“That request has not been met with a call being accommodated at this stage,” he said on the ABC’s ‘Insiders’ program. “We are open to have that discussion, even where there are difficult issues to be discussed.” Birmingham said Australia reserved its rights to bring a case against China at the World Trade Organization if Beijing imposed the tariffs on Australian barley.