Demystifying Australia – China Trade Tensions

Forthcoming (2022) 56(1) Journal of World Trade

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 21-36

32 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2021 Last revised: 6 May 2021

See all articles by Weihuan Zhou

Weihuan Zhou

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

James Laurenceson

Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

In 2020 Australia’s political relations with China plumbed new depths. Trade and other economic ties were also hit with disruption. Contributing to this deterioration, and complicating an accurate assessment of the consequences, has been a raft of misunderstandings. This paper demystifies the bilateral trade tensions by exposing the deeper drivers of political friction, providing a critical assessment of the vulnerability of the Australian economy, and placing 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. We show that these legal issues have been over-simplified or even misunderstood in existing work. Overall, we believe that combined with political leadership, a clear understanding of these issues offers the best prospect for an improved relationship trajectory, serving both countries’ interests.

Keywords: economic disruption, bilateral trade tensions, WTO, World Trade Organization, China-Australia Free Trade Agreement

Suggested Citation

Zhou, Weihuan and Laurenceson, James, Demystifying Australia – China Trade Tensions (2021). Forthcoming (2022) 56(1) Journal of World Trade, UNSW Law Research Paper No. 21-36, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3806162 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3806162

Weihuan Zhou (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia
+61 2 90652102 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: https://www.law.unsw.edu.au/staff/weihuan-zhou

James Laurenceson

Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney ( email )

15 Broadway, Ultimo
PO Box 123
Sydney, NSW 2007
Australia

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