Thur 16 December 2021
Associate Professor Weihuan Zhou’s new paper, titled 'Demystifying Australia-China Trade Tensions' and co-authored with Prof James Laurenceson (Director of the Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney), has been published online by the Journal of World Trade.
This paper takes an inter-disciplinary approach and offers the first detailed study of the legal issues involved in the China-Australia trade tensions since 2020 and of the broader and fundamental challenges in the bilateral relations. Faced with a raft of misunderstandings about the underlying causes of the tensions and the related legal issues, this paper seeks to expose the deeper drivers of political friction, provides a critical assessment of the vulnerability of the Australian economy, and place the current state of Australia’s relations with China in a comparative regional perspective. These discussions set an important context for a detailed and critical analysis of the legal issues that Chinese trade measures have created under the rules of the World Trade Organization and the China – Australia Free Trade Agreement. It shows that these legal issues have been over-simplified or misunderstood in existing work. Overall, the paper argues that combined with political leadership, a clear understanding of these issues offers the best prospect for an improved relationship trajectory, serving both countries’ interests.
The paper is available here.