Canberra/Beijing: China, it appears, may have to brace for a massive blow in the trade war it initiated against Australia a few months ago. Australian analysts claim, the Five Eyes alliance, one of the world’s leading groups, has begun taking steps to respond to China in this trade war. Japan reportedly may also join the cause. The Five Eyes, which is recognised as an intelligence-sharing alliance, comprises of Australia, the US, Canada, the UK and New Zealand.
In the past few years, many instances of significant interference from the Chinese Communist regime in Australia have surfaced. After the effects of China’s growing influence became visible, the Australian government became aggressive and took direct legal action against it. At the same time, Australia also voiced its suspicions about China being responsible for the coronavirus and demanded an inquiry into its origins. Being apprehensive with Australia’s stance, China started threatening the country with economic consequences. However, since Australia turned a blind eye to it, China began waging a shadow trade war on it.
In May, China imposed 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley imports. The Chinese regime then instructed its citizens to avoid travelling to Australia for tourism and education. In the last two months, China has slapped Australian exports with punitive tariffs that target fish, marine products, cotton, meat, coal and wine. Additionally, Australian goods that arrived at Chinese ports have been kept waiting to unload for many days. China has neither provided an explanation nor clarification on the matter.
Australia, therefore, has now hinted at taking a bold policy against China with the help of its key partners. The intelligence agencies of the US and the UK had joined forces and signed an agreement to enhance cooperation against the backdrop of World War II. Canada, Australia and New Zealand were later added to the front. During the US-Russia Cold War, efforts were made to solidify the coalition. Although the alliance was operational even after the Cold War, its pace had slowed down to a certain extent. In the past few years, however, the Five Eyes has come together against China on various issues and are seen taking firm steps on it. The alliance has openly challenged China on Huawei, coronavirus pandemic, as also Hong Kong.
If the Five Eyes alliance steps into the China-Australia trade war, China could have to bear a severe blow. Earlier, the US, a member of the Five Eyes, had started a trade war with China; the significant effects of which have been observed on its economy. Australian analysts have thus asserted that if the UK, Canada and New Zealand take action in solidarity with Australia, they may deal a hard blow to China’s plans.