Beijing Drops Sanctions on Another 5 Beef Exporters

The move comes as Beijing-backed spying revelations in Australia continue to emerge.Beijing has lifted arbitrary bans on beef exports from five Australian abattoirs on the evening of May 29.The move comes six months after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) lifted sanctions on three other abattoirs in December 2023, and is part of a wider “thawing” of diplomatic ties between the current Australian government and Beijing.Labor’s Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said details were still emerging, but applauded the move.“We had already seen a couple of other processing operations have their trade bans lifted but now there’s another five. That is fantastic news for the cattle producers, for the meat processing industry, and for the workers in those industries. And, of course, for Australian exports,” he told ABC on May 30.Sanctions remain on two abattoirs and on rock lobster exports.The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) welcomed the announcement, saying they had been working since 2020 for the sanctions to be lifted.Related Stories“After four years of advocacy and hard work on the behalf of red meat exporters, we have finally achieved a fantastic result,” said AMIC CEO Patrick Hutchinson, in a statement.“As a matter of priority, we will continue working with the federal government and China on not only having the remaining two exporters’ suspensions lifted, but also restarting the new opportunities for other Australian red meat businesses who have been waiting for access to the Chinese market.”Mr. Hutchinson also thanked the government and ministers for their assistance.Beijing imposed the sanctions from mid-2020 following the public call from the then-Morrison government for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19—one of the first nations in the world to do so.However, this stance drew a sharp response from CCP officials and eventually saw successive trade sanctions slapped on an array of Australian exports including wine, cotton, barley, and meat.Since the change of government in May 2022, Beijing has embarked on a charm offensive to “normalise” relations, rolling back bans on barley, cotton, oaten hay, and timber, freeing up approximately $3 billion of trade.The CCP and Albanese government have also restarted diplomatic talks at the highest levels with CCP Premier Li Qiang due to visit Australia in June.While the trade situation has been perceived as favourable for the Australian government, other issues have continued gnawing away.These include ongoing military aggression from Beijing towards Taiwan (and the spectre of conflict), as well as new revelations of spying.A former Beijing operative, named “Eric,” recently came public with his defection from the communist state, and revealed his activities surveilling local communities.He said the CCP had embedded about 1,200 spies in Australia, while warning the government to maintain strong ties with the United States.“So he says that the CCP’s attempt to control voices in the Chinese community actually then, in turn, affects voting in those countries and influences politics,” he told a defence conference through a translator.Eric’s comments align with those made by former CCP diplomat Chen Yonglin after he defected in 2005.Mr. Chen famously declared the CCP implanted 1,000 spies throughout Australia with many being casual informants occasionally providing intelligence to Beijing.“The main mission for CCP spies is to monitor the activities of groups who oppose the CCP, especially pro-democracy activists,” he said at the time, noting that the Falun Gong spiritual movement was a major target with over 800 adherent’s names on a “blacklist.”

Beijing Drops Sanctions on Another 5 Beef Exporters

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The move comes as Beijing-backed spying revelations in Australia continue to emerge.

Beijing has lifted arbitrary bans on beef exports from five Australian abattoirs on the evening of May 29.

The move comes six months after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) lifted sanctions on three other abattoirs in December 2023, and is part of a wider “thawing” of diplomatic ties between the current Australian government and Beijing.

Labor’s Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said details were still emerging, but applauded the move.

“We had already seen a couple of other processing operations have their trade bans lifted but now there’s another five. That is fantastic news for the cattle producers, for the meat processing industry, and for the workers in those industries. And, of course, for Australian exports,” he told ABC on May 30.

Sanctions remain on two abattoirs and on rock lobster exports.

The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) welcomed the announcement, saying they had been working since 2020 for the sanctions to be lifted.

“After four years of advocacy and hard work on the behalf of red meat exporters, we have finally achieved a fantastic result,” said AMIC CEO Patrick Hutchinson, in a statement.

“As a matter of priority, we will continue working with the federal government and China on not only having the remaining two exporters’ suspensions lifted, but also restarting the new opportunities for other Australian red meat businesses who have been waiting for access to the Chinese market.”

Mr. Hutchinson also thanked the government and ministers for their assistance.

Beijing imposed the sanctions from mid-2020 following the public call from the then-Morrison government for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19—one of the first nations in the world to do so.

However, this stance drew a sharp response from CCP officials and eventually saw successive trade sanctions slapped on an array of Australian exports including wine, cotton, barley, and meat.

Since the change of government in May 2022, Beijing has embarked on a charm offensive to “normalise” relations, rolling back bans on barley, cotton, oaten hay, and timber, freeing up approximately $3 billion of trade.

The CCP and Albanese government have also restarted diplomatic talks at the highest levels with CCP Premier Li Qiang due to visit Australia in June.

While the trade situation has been perceived as favourable for the Australian government, other issues have continued gnawing away.

These include ongoing military aggression from Beijing towards Taiwan (and the spectre of conflict), as well as new revelations of spying.

A former Beijing operative, named “Eric,” recently came public with his defection from the communist state, and revealed his activities surveilling local communities.
He said the CCP had embedded about 1,200 spies in Australia, while warning the government to maintain strong ties with the United States.

“So he says that the CCP’s attempt to control voices in the Chinese community actually then, in turn, affects voting in those countries and influences politics,” he told a defence conference through a translator.

Eric’s comments align with those made by former CCP diplomat Chen Yonglin after he defected in 2005.

Mr. Chen famously declared the CCP implanted 1,000 spies throughout Australia with many being casual informants occasionally providing intelligence to Beijing.

“The main mission for CCP spies is to monitor the activities of groups who oppose the CCP, especially pro-democracy activists,” he said at the time, noting that the Falun Gong spiritual movement was a major target with over 800 adherent’s names on a “blacklist.”

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