Beijing Suspends Imports From Sixth Australian Abattoir

Beijing Suspends Imports From Sixth Australian Abattoir
Australian beef is seen at a supermarket in Beijing on May 12, 2020. - China suspended imports from four major Australian beef suppliers on May 12, just weeks after Beijing's ambassador warned of a consumer boycott in retaliation for Canberra's push to probe the origins of the coronavirus. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)
Daniel Y. Teng

Beijing has expanded its suspension of Australian beef imports to a sixth supplier, according to an announcement released on Monday.

The General Administration of Customs did not give a reason for the decision to block the imports from the Queensland supplier.

As of Monday, applications, and registration of beef shipments from Meramist were halted.

It follows the August suspension of imports from the John Dee Warwick abattoir, and a May announcement to block imports from four suppliers.

At the time, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham noted the suspensions appeared to target “highly technical issues.”

The Epoch Times reached out to Meramist for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

The latest suspension comes following a highly publicised week of Beijing-instigated diplomatic incidents including major 100 to 200 percent tariffs being attached to Australian wine imports, and foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s provocative Twitter post featuring a doctored image of an Australian Defence Force soldier holding a knife to an Afghan child’s throat.

Since April, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has rolled out a series of bans and suspensions on Australian imports following Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s calls for an inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far the trade actions have encompassed imports of Australian beef, barley, wine, coal, cotton, lobster, and timber.

In early December, a global alliance representing 200 parliamentarians from around the world launched a campaign in support of Australian wines and in opposition to Beijing’s increased “bullying” via bans on trade.

The alliance launched a video on Twitter on Dec. 1 featuring members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) calling on citizens in their respective nations to put aside their national beverages during December, and instead buying Australian wine.

During the video, Australian Senator Kimberley Kitching described an incident in November where the Chinese embassy in Canberra handed a dossier of 14 grievances to media outlets, calling for the Australian government to back down from its efforts to safeguard its sovereignty.

“This isn’t an attack on Australia, it’s an attack on free countries everywhere,” Kitching said.

Daniel Y. Teng is based in Brisbane, Australia. He focuses on national affairs including federal politics, COVID-19 response, and Australia-China relations. Got a tip? Contact him at [email protected].
Related Topics