Chinese sanctions on Aussie wine worth $1 billion will be lifted by end of month

Chinese sanctions on Australian wine worth $1 billion appear to be on track to be removed by the end of March.

Feb 27, 2024, updated Feb 27, 2024
Minister for Trade Don Farrell. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Minister for Trade Don Farrell. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Federal Trade Minister Don Farrell met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Wentao on the sidelines of the World Trade Organisation’s ministerial conference in Abu Dhabi.

China slapped sanctions worth $20bn on Australian products during the height of diplomatic tensions in 2020, after the then-coalition government called for an independent inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sanctions worth $2bn remain on wine, rock lobster and some abattoirs.

Beijing is reviewing the trade ban on wine under a five-month process after Canberra agreed to suspend a dispute lodged with the WTO until March 31.

During his meeting, Senator Farrell pressed for the removal of all remaining sanctions, AAP understands.

China lifted tariffs on barley in August last year through the same process, after Labor paused a WTO dispute in exchange for a review.

It was the first face-to-face meeting between Australia and China at the ministerial level since Australian writer Yang Henjun was sentenced to a suspended death sentence.

Senator Farrell also advocated on behalf of Dr Yang, as Australia continues to make ongoing representations.

Dr Yang was found guilty of espionage charges in China in February after spending five years in prison.

He still faces the prospect of life behind bars at the end of a two-year suspended death sentence.

Senator Farrell has met with his Chinese counterpart six times since May last year.

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