China’s ambassador to Canberra has confirmed his country will lift its ban on Australian timber imports, in another sign trade ties with Australia are slowly normalising. Since 2020, Australia’s $600 million annual timber trade with China has been suspended with Beijing citing quarantine risks. …Ambassador Xiao Qian said that was related the quarantine of timbers, and they “have satisfied the conditions of the Chinese Customs”. …The restoration of timber imports comes a month after Australia agreed to suspend its appeal to the World Trade Organization over Chinese government tariffs on Australian barley. That agreement came just before the international body was due to hand down a finding over the dispute. While Mr Xiao maintained that China’s ban was a purely regulatory measure, Australian officials say it was clearly part of a broader campaign of economic punishment orchestrated by Beijing in 2020 when the relationship was mired in acrimony.
In related coverage: Timber industry welcomes China’s decision to lift import bans