Beijing has banned importы of Australian coal. The move came as China's response to Australia's support for its geopolitical ally, the United States. Why doesn't Moscow learn from Beijing?
Analyst firm IHS Markit said that a number of Chinese ports had been ordered not to accept Australian coal, even if the deals had been concluded. Western publications Bloomberg, Platts and Argus confirmed the report.
The head of the transnational mining corporation BHP Billiton, Ken Mackenzie, also confirmed a decline in China's purchases of Australian coal.
"Our sales team has recently received deferral requests from several of our Chinese customers," he said.
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull believes that China is losing interest in Australian coal for reasons other than diplomacy. According to him, it goes about market dynamics and China's course for self-sufficiency.
The comments from the Australian politician came following a tweet by former Australian Defense Secretary Angus Houston, who accused Australian politicians of acting unreasonably when dealing with China.
According to The Guardian, during an event hosted by the Lowy Institute of Sydney, Houston stated that Australian politicians' "loose talk" has made tensions with China worse than necessary.
Houston warned of the consequences of populist public remarks and called for a "reset" of relations with China.
The former secretary recalled an attempt to summon the Chinese Ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, to parliament to explain why he threatened a trade boycott after Australia called for an international investigation into the roots of the coronavirus pandemic.
"China is our partner. China is not an enemy. Let's get that very straight," Sir Angus said.
Noteworthy, China has taken a series of restrictive measures against Australian exporters, including higher tariffs on barley, suspension of imports from five beef processing factories and conducting two investigations into the allegedly low-quality supplies of Australian wine. Beijing easily found alternative suppliers.
Western analysts said that all that came as China's response to the decisive position of the Australian government, which backed the US proposal to open an international investigation into the causes of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Angus Houston also stated that Australia's number one alliance partner (the US) is at odds with Australia's number one commercial partner (China).
The former defense secretary believes that Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Foreign Secretary Marise Payne and Trade Secretary Simon Birmingham bear the prime responsibility for deteriorating Sino-Australian relations, especially after the decision to exclude Huawei from the 5G network (also at the direction of the United States).
Indeed, the relations between China and Australia can decline considerably. China remains the main exporter of Australia's key export commodities - iron ore and LNG.
"I think we need to take a hard look at our relationship with China. I think we need a reset, we need a circuit breaker because really if we are going to come out of this recession that we have at the moment because of COVID-19, we need China," Angus Houston stated.
According to him, the Australian economy is closely integrated with the Chinese economy, so both sides need to be able to work together effectively and interact, respecting each other's sovereignty.
This is an example for Russia of how to deal with those who mastermind propaganda campaigns to please geopolitical ambition of the United States. Russia is strongly integrated into the energy system of Europe. For example, Poland is 60% dependent on natural gas supplies from Russia. The level of Europe's dependence on Russian natural gas makes up about 30%. This explains why Gazprom has not been sanctioned, unlike Russia's major aluminium producer, Rusal.
Why not insinuate, with the help of the Russian Ambassador to Poland, that Russia would stop natural gas supplies to Poland indefinitely for any reason that may be. Poland sees such an option and tries to cut gas purchases from Russia. Yet, Poland uses about 18 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year, and receives 10 billion cubic meters of this amount from Gazprom under the Yamal Contract.
One cold winter will be enough for Europe to think about reset and say: "We need Russia. We need to have warm relationship with Russia."