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Spokesperson's Remarks of the Chinese Foreign Ministry
2020/11/03

Bloomberg: Australia says that Chinese customs officers are delaying imports of some premium shellfish products, according to a Bloomberg news report. Australia has been successful in tackling the coronavirus, especially in Western Australia, which is the country's biggest lobster-exporting state. So my first question is, why then is Australia the only country facing delays like this on shellfish products? Separately, there have been two further reports, one from SCMP saying that China is expected to introduce bans on imports of Australian copper ore, copper concentrate and sugar this week. In addition, Reuters reports that China has rejected Australia's appeal to remove import tariffs on barley. So all aspects of this question basically refer to delays on imports or bans on imports of Australian goods. With so many examples that I've just cited, it's quite hard not to see this as some form of retribution. So I'd like to ask you about these three areas, in particular the premium shellfish products.

Wang Wenbin: On your first question, According to law, the Chinese customs takes inspection and quarantine measures on imported seafood products and releases them after finding they meet the criteria. This practice is in line with pertinent laws and regulations, and protects the safety of Chinese consumers buying imported food.

Regarding your second question, China conducts friendly cooperation with other countries based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. We believe a sound and stable China-Australia relationship serves the fundamental interests of both peoples. In the meantime, mutual respect is the foundation and guarantee of practical cooperation between countries. We hope Australia can do more things conducive to mutual trust, bilateral cooperation and the spirit of China-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership, and bring the bilateral relations back to the right track as early as possible.

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