Australia is making proactive steps to mend its relationship with China, particularly in light of the upcoming visit by Anthony Albanese to Beijing. In a significant move, the Australian government decided not to revoke the Landbridge Group’s long-standing lease over the Port of Darwin, an action that China has been advocating for.
This decision follows China’s appeal to Australia to bring clarity over the lease’s fate after a review was initiated post the 2022 elections. While Australia is allowing the lease to persist, it has emphasized its commitment to supervising the security provisions around the Port of Darwin. The review, facilitated by various departments and security agencies, determined that the prevailing regulations for managing risks to vital infrastructures like the Port of Darwin were adequate. It also concluded that there was no requirement to amend or terminate the lease, a sentiment endorsed by the Australian government.
Ensuring citizens that their security won’t be at risk, the Australian authorities also want to project the country as an attractive hub for foreign investments.
Furthermore, Australia has been pushing for China to lift its hefty levies on Australian wine, similar to the recent success with barley. China, on the other hand, is awaiting Australia’s response to its own grievances, proposing a comprehensive deal that would resume Australian wine imports in return for Australia reconsidering tariffs on specific Chinese products, including wind towers.
Despite Australia’s initial reluctance to engage in this proposed package, the Anti-Dumping Commission has signalled potential progress. The commission is recommending the discontinuation of tariffs on Chinese wind towers by 16 April 2024, seeing no potential harm in this move. This step was well-received by China’s commerce ministry, as they believe it would bolster bilateral collaboration in the clean energy domain and aid Australia in achieving its renewable energy and emission reduction goals.
However, it’s crucial to note that the Anti-Dumping Commission, a segment of the industry portfolio, functions autonomously and has its own assessment schedules, regardless of the political landscape.