Most of the Western world’s battle with China is economic at this point. This is true for the United States and our allies. Sitting in the Pacific, Australia is somewhat more vulnerable to the saber-rattling of the Chinese Communist party and regional pressure. So, let’s give our friends Down Under a hand and have some fun. Buy Australian wine.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald:
Millions of people around the world are being urged to buy an Australian bottle of wine or two, as a way of showing Chinese President Xi Jinping that the world will not be intimidated by his “bullying of Australia”.
The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), comprising more than 200 MPs from a range of political parties and representing 19 country legislatures, has launched a campaign to convince people to buy and drink Australian wine in December, as a show of solidarity.
This sounds like a #Resistance movement all Americans can get on board with. The holidays are coming, and the wine should be flowing. Spiced, mulled, or just as it is, it is the perfect complement to so many holiday treats. The Australian wine producers make luscious reds, crisp whites, and dessert wines as well. You are sure to find one that is perfect for your holiday gatherings.
The campaign is being waged because China put a tariff of up to 212% on wine from Australia:
Under the new measure, Chinese importers will have to pay a duty levied against Australian wine companies. This will vary from 107.1 per cent to 212.1 per cent, depending on which company has produced the wine.
The money raised will be held by Chinese authorities and could in theory be refunded, depending on the final findings of China’s anti-dumping investigation. But the Australian industry believes that the measure will hurt wine producers regardless of its preliminary status, because it increases the cost of wine and discourages exports.
Members of the Australian government perceive this move as a reaction to their foreign policy positions on Huawei and China’s increasing aggression. The country banned Huawei from participating in their 5G infrastructure projects in 2018, and it does not appear this decision is up for discussion:
Earlier this year (2020), Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton dismissed talk of revisiting the ban that was slapped on Huawei.”
They are a high risk vendor. We have been very clear about it,” Dutton said, in an interview with the Today Show at the time.
Nor does the Australian government appear inclined to reconsider these positions with financial pressure:
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud on Friday said Australia would not compromise its policy positions in response to trade threats.”
That’s what any Australian government of any political persuasion is elected to do. We’ll never, never compromise any of those values and principles. We’re a sovereign nation, we expect to be treated with the respect of a sovereign nation,” he said. “We’ll not be for turning.”
It seems the threats have been pretty explicit. Recently China released a list of fourteen grievances against Australia. Like many other Western nations, disputes between the two countries have escalated following the communist nation’s handling of the pandemic, human rights abuses, and territorial expansion. China’s response was clear:
The list of grievances also includes: government funding for “anti-China” research at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, raids on Chinese journalists and academic visa cancellations, “spearheading a crusade” in multilateral forums on China’s affairs in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, calling for an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19, banning Huawei from the 5G network in 2018 and blocking 10 Chinese foreign investment deals across infrastructure, agriculture and animal husbandry sectors.
In a targeted threat to Australia’s foreign policy position, the Chinese official said if Australia backed away from policies on the list, it “would be conducive to a better atmosphere”.
The wine tariff is the latest in a string of hits to Australian exports:
More than a dozen ships loaded with millions of dollars worth of Australian coal and hundreds of crew members have been stranded for months outside Chinese ports unable to offload their cargo. Queensland and Victorian timber exports have been rejected and seafood subject to quality control measures that meant 20 tonnes of live lobster perished on the tarmac at Shanghai’s airport, unable to clear customs.
But it appears we can help our ally stand strong. Take a swig to fight communism! You can find whatever variety you prefer easily online. Here’s the one I will be grabbing to go with my flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sauce for Christmas Day. Order up to fight Communism!