How other nations are feasting on China’s beef with Australia

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At the China International Import expo in Shanghai last month, the Argentinian Beef Association was ready to pounce on Australia’s misfortune.

Argentina has maintained strong diplomatic relations with China since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Beijing sent tonnes of medical equipment to Argentina as COVID-19 began sweeping through Latin America. Even though they all had to endure 14-day quarantine to attend, 58 representatives of the beef association were in the hall to show off its sirloin and rib eye.

Australia is not unique. At least 60 countries that count China as their number one export market.

Argentina is one of the hungriest, but also lining up: Russia, Indonesia, South Korea and Brazil. And all of them want a cut of Australia’s lunch.

After years of galloping trade balances buttressed by iron ore and supported by farmers, fishers and loggers, Australia now faces a reckoning.

 

 

by Eryk Bagshaw

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