Liz Truss: China’s economic coercion of Australia a wake-up call to other states

Ms Truss said London and Canberra were determined to act together in ‘calling out’ Beijing.

Alana Calvert
Friday 21 January 2022 06:53
The Foreign Secretary has said China’s ‘economic coercion’ of Australia was a ‘wake-up call’ to other countries (Leon Neal/PA)
The Foreign Secretary has said China’s ‘economic coercion’ of Australia was a ‘wake-up call’ to other countries (Leon Neal/PA)

The Foreign Secretary has said China’s “economic coercion” of Australia was a “wake-up call” to other countries.

China – which had been Australia’s top trading partner – introduced tariffs and other trade actions against the country on barley, wine, beef, seafood and coal exports when the relationship between the two nations soured in 2020.

Liz Truss said: “The situation with Australia – the economic coercion we saw – was one of the wake-up calls as to exactly what China was doing and the way it was using its economic might to try to exert control over over other countries”.

She added: “I think there was a belief in the past that as China got wealthier, it was headed on a path towards becoming a freer, more democratic society. The reality is that hasn’t happened.

“In the late 90s, the Chinese economy was a 10th the size of the United States economy. We’re now in a situation with a China with a much bigger economy (that’s) much more able to coerce other nations.

“And as I’ve said, we’ve looked to Australia as we formulate some of our policies around how we deal with these issues.”

Ms Truss said the UK and Australia were determined to act together in “calling out China” when it blocks products from Lithuania or imposes “punitive tariffs on Australian barley and wine”.

She added: “It is estimated that 44 low-to-middle income countries have debts to Beijing in excess of 10% of their GDP. We’re responding on all of these fronts, and we’re strengthening our supply chains by taking our economic ties with like-minded nations to new heights.

“We took a huge step forward by signing our free trade agreement with Australia in December. This is a world-class deal that will remove all of the tariffs on goods, both ways.

“It’s going to be easier for our people to live and work in each other’s countries, particularly those under 35. And we’re building on this by working with Australia to join the Trans Pacific Partnership, reinforcing reliability of supply through one of the largest free trade areas on Earth.

“We’re also working together to provide low and middle-income countries with honest and reliable alternative sources of investment.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in