“Why is Australia attacking China? They are killing my Australian investments!” This was a cry of desperation and anguish from a colleague in Singapore this week as China imposed punitive tariffs on Australian wine. This follows previous moves by China to refer a number of issues to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Another is worried about his investment in apartments in Sydney because changes to the Foreign Investment Review Board regulations have frightened his Chinese co- investors. The rejection of a Chinese bid for a milk company because it was “‘against the national interest’” was seen by many as a clear message that Chinese investment was not welcome.

As usual, with assessing market behaviour, there is a separation between the facts of the matter and the physiological impact it has on the market.

For whatever reason, Australia has been muscling up to China, particularly in the past 12 months. Australia’s constant criticism of China has been loud, shrill and often ill-founded. Australia has actively called for interference in China’s domestic affairs while demanding China stop making comments about Australia’s domestic affairs. These calls have sometimes relied upon reports of suspect objectivity prepared by think tanks that are themselves funded by foreign powers including the US. Australia has "attacked” China with over 100 anti-dumping referrals to the WTO.

To continue reading,

Sign in to access this Premium article.

Subscription entitlements:

Less than $9 per month
3 Simultaneous logins across all devices
Unlimited access to latest and premium articles
Bonus unlimited access to online articles and virtual newspaper on The Edge Malaysia (single login)

Stay updated with Singapore corporate news stories for FREE

Follow our Telegram | Facebook