May 17, 2021 Read More →

China-Australia trade spat could prove boon for renewables in both countries

South China Morning Post:

Australian miners have continued shipping small amounts of coal to China since the start of the year despite an unofficial ban on their coal imports, and those shipments have not been cleared by Chinese customs to enter the country.

Some analysts said miners were hoping that China would at least lift the ban for thermal coal ahead of the peak summer electricity-generation period, but there has been no indication that this may happen. Moreover, given the continued deterioration of communication channels between Beijing and Canberra, the prospects of any thawing in relations appear remote.

Amid worsening bilateral ties, China unofficially banned Australian coal in October, leaving dozens of vessels waiting off its coast. Over the ensuing months, some docked to release crew members, though cargoes were never cleared, and some were redirected to other markets.

While the coal ban remains a sticking point in the relations between the two countries, it may prepare the two countries for a reduced coal trade as China increasingly focuses on becoming carbon neutral by 2060, according to associate professor Shi Xunpeng at the Australia-China Relations Institute.

While the coal ban remains a sticking point in the relations between the two countries, it may prepare the two countries for a reduced coal trade as China increasingly focuses on becoming carbon neutral by 2060, according to associate professor Shi Xunpeng at the Australia-China Relations Institute.

[Su-Lin Tan]

More: China-Australia relations: coal shipments continue but remain stuck off Chinese coast amid ban

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