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The Great China-Australia Divorce Has Arrived

China this week banned imports of some Australian lamb products due to the threat of — what else? — coronavirus. Despite allowing in meat from coronavirus hotspots like the United States and Brazil, China has deemed Australian lamb just too dangerous. The bans come hot on the heels of similar beef bans and wine tariffs. China also has kept dozens of ships carrying Australian coal moored offshore (though it hasn’t yet claimed that coal can transmit coronavirus). About the only Australian product reaching China unhindered is iron ore, and that’s probably because China has nowhere else to get the quantities it needs.

These days, Australia is quite simply “country non grata” in Beijing.

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Sydney-based globalization expert Salvatore Babones is available to speak on the Chinese economy (demographics, growth, technology), the Belt & Road Initiative, global trade networks, and Australia-China relations. Contact: