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Amid rising tensions, China says Australia 'should know' how to improve ties


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BEIJING: Amid the ongoing trade dispute and rising tensions between China and Australia, Beijing on Wednesday said that Canberra should know “what it needs to do to improve this relationship”.
“Everyone knows that both sides need to overcome and push to establish a healthy relationship. As to the behaviour of Australia, Australia should know more clearly than us [what it needs to do],” South China Morning Post quoted China’s assistant minister of commerce Li Chengganga as saying.
“China has upheld a pragmatic attitude to actively pursuing economic and trade relations with all trade partners,” Li said at a press conference in Beijing.
China and Australia have been involved in disputes on trade and non-trade matter including Covid-19 and Indo-Pacific region.
Beijing is likely to impose new restrictions on imports of a list of Australian products, namely barley, sugar, red wine, logs, coal, lobster, copper ore and concentrate, from Friday.
At a press conference on Friday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called on Canberra to “reflect” on how it had handled its trade relationship with China in the past when he was asked to elaborate on the proposed suspensions of seven categories of Australian imports.
Two-way trade between China and Australia is worth about Australian dollar 240 billion (US$171 billion), while China buys around 39 per cent of Australia’s merchandise exports.
The relationship between the two countries has deteriorated after Australia pushed for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus in April without consulting Beijing, widening cracks in the relationship that had been growing since Canberra banned China’s Huawei Technologies Co. from helping build its 5G telecommunications network two years ago.