Wine lovers are calling for a boycott of Chinese-owned Australian vineyards as tensions over Beijing’s bullying tactics continues to escalate.
A list of 41 vineyards circulating on social media showing just how many Sino-owned wineries are operating in Australia has outraged local wine enthusiasts.
China imposed a 200 per cent tariff on Australian wine last week which threatens to cripple the $6billion industry.
The authoritarian state continues to punish Canberra for speaking out on its human rights record – with bans imposed on Australian barley, timbre, lobster, coal, cotton, beef and lamb.
Beijing is also still enraged that Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic, which originated in Wuhan.
Now, many Australians are asking locals to steer clear of wineries that are on the list.
The introduction of huge tariffs last week is likely to see the industry which is already struggling after bushfires and drought, decimated.
The list circulating online indicates the vast majority of Chinese-owned wineries are in Victoria and South Australia.
However, it is unclear how definitive the list is and there may be more those who compiled it are not aware of.
Most social media user couldn’t believe how many wine makers are actually owned by Chinese interests.
‘No wonder some Aussies always say the government is selling the country to China,’ one person wrote.
Another said: ‘Aussie winemakers have been teaching the Chinese how to make wine for years. For what, to screw us over?’
‘The Chinese people don’t trust their own Government, why should we. Quite frankly we have been taken for suckers for the sake of the almighty dollar. Have we learnt anything yet? I doubt it.’
But one social media user pointed out ‘it’s run by Aussie workers though, and Aussie workers are still getting paid’.
The list posted to the Vino e Amigos Facebook page follows an international campaign urging the rest of the world to purchase Australian wine during the month of December.
Lawmakers from around the world who form the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China have urged their citizens to buy a ‘bottle or two’ of Australian wine before Christmas as a show of support.
Australia’s wine industry exports 39 percent of all its total product to China.
The introduction of huge tariffs last week, brought in as apparent payback after Scott Morrison called for an inquiry into the origin of the coronavirus, is likely to see the industry decimated – having already been badly hit by bushfires and drought.
That’s why leaders from across the globe are calling on their citizens to pitch in and stock up on Australian wine.
The $6billion Australian wine industry exports about 39 per cent of all its product to China (pictured, Penfolds wine)
‘The Chinese government handed Australia a list of 14 grievances demanding that Australia stops voicing out in defence of human rights and the rules-based order,’ Australian Senator Kimberley Kitching said in the video.
‘China has cancelled a whole range of Australian imports in an attempt to bully us into abandoning our values.’
She warns that this is not just an attack on Canberra, but a shot across the bow of ‘free countries everywhere’.
The video begins with a number of MPs heralding their home country’s wine and spirits.
‘Nothing beats a glass of New Zealand Pinot,’ Kiwi MP Louisa Wall said.
‘Italy is the country that exports the most wine of any country in the world,’ Italian Senator Roberto Rampi said.
‘Cone on, who needs wine when you have Aquavit?’ Norwegian MP Trine Skei Grande declares.
‘You know what? Japanese sake is the best!’ Japanese MP Shiori Yamao said.
The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China has urged millions of citizens to buy a ‘bottle or two’ of Australian wine before Christmas as a show of support (pictured, Slovakian politician Miriam Lexmann left, US Senator Ted Yoho right)
‘Buy drinking a bottle or two of Australian wine and letting the Chinese Communist Party know that we will not be bullied,’ Swedish MP Elisabet Lann (pictured) said
‘China has cancelled a whole range of Australian imports in an attempt to bully us into abandoning our values,’ Australian Senator Kimberley Kitching (pictured left) said in the video. (Japanese MP Shiori Yamao pictured right)
Australia’s total export markets in 2019
1. China: $135 billion (33% of total Australian exports)
2. Japan: $36 billion (9%)
3. South Korea: $21 billion (5%)
4. United Kingdom: $16 billion (3.8%)
5. United States: $15 billion (3.7%)
US Senator Ted Yoho says that while he normally enjoys California wine, he plans to drink ‘something a little different because our friends need our help’ – with a bottle of Penfolds in the background.
‘This December, we are asking you to join us in standing against Xi Jinping’s authoritarian bullying,’ Slovakian politician Miriam Lexmann said.
‘By drinking a bottle or two of Australian wine and letting the Chinese Communist Party know that we will not be bullied,’ Swedish MP Elisabet Lann said, with two bottles of wine beside her as she cradled a glass.
The clip also includes Mandarin subtitles in an effort to reach the Chinese public and diaspora as well.
It follows a US National Security Council Tweet in recent days declaring that Australian wine will be featured at a White House holiday reception this week.
‘Pity vino lovers in China who, due to Beijing’s coercive tariffs on Aussie vintners, will miss out. #AussieAussieAussieOiOiOi!’ the official Twitter message states.
Relations between Australia have reached their lowest point in decades this year with a litany of diplomatic spats compromising the robust economic partnership.
Hostilities between Australia and China have soared in recent years after a number of diplomatic spats (Penfolds wine is stacked on a shelf in China)
The banning of Huawei from the nation’s 5G network in 2018 on the grounds of national security concerns infuriated the totalitarian state, but it was Mr Morrison’s call for an independent international inquiry in the origins of the coronavirus back in April which prompted a drastic response from Beijing.
China immediately slapped the 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley, suspended beef imports and told students and tourists not to travel Down Under.
Beijing again responded with fury and outrage this month when Mr Morrison set off to Japan – one of China’s greatest historic rivals – to strengthen trade and military ties.
Days after, Beijing published a list of 14 grievances.
The laundry list included everything from ‘unfair media reports’ to Canberra’s criticism of China over its human rights abuses as payback China has targeted up to $20billion in key Australian exports – including barley, coal, sugar, timber, lobster, copper, cotton and wine.
Australian plans to take China to the World Trade Organisation over ‘politically motivated’ tariff increases (pictured, President Xi Jinping left and Prime Minister Scott Morrison right)
China’s ’14 grievances’
1. ‘Incessant wanton interference in China’s Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan affairs’
2. ‘Siding with the US’ anti-China campaign and spreading misinformation’
3. ‘Thinly veiled allegations against China on cyber attacks without any evidence’
4. ‘An unfriendly or antagonistic report on China by media’
5. Providing funding to ‘anti-China think tank for spreading untrue reports’
6. ‘Foreign interference legislation’
7. ‘Foreign investment decisions’
8. ‘Banning Huawei technologies and ZTE from the 5G network’
9. ‘Politicisation and stigmatisation of the normal exchanges and coorperation between China and Australia’
10. Making statements ‘on the South China Sea to the United Nations’
11. ‘Outrageous condemnation of the governing party of China by MPs and racist attacks against Chinese or Asian people’
12. ‘The early drawn search and reckless seizure of Chinese journalists’ homes and properties’
13. Calls for an independent inquiry into Covid-19
14. ‘Legislation to scrutinise agreements with a foreign government’
Tensions have also spiked over allegations of widespread state-sponsored cyber attacks by China, and after ASIO raided the homes of Chinese journalists suspected of political interference.
On Monday, the situation reached fever pitch after Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted a doctored image showing a grinning Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child.
The artwork referred to revelations made last month in the Bereton inquiry, claiming 25 Australian soldiers unlawfully killed 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison demanded an apology and called for the Asian superpower to take down the ‘repugnant’ fake image.
On Tuesday, Australian embassy officials met with Chinese Foreign Ministry representatives seeking a formal apology over the fake image.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted a doctored image of showing a grinning Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child
The Chinese government has attacked Australia over war crimes allegations by posting this falsified image on Twitter
But Beijing has since doubled down on their attacks against Australia, posting another controversial image in a state-owned newspaper depicting a kangaroo with a blood soaked knife in a bow tie.
Labor opposition leader Anthony Albanese has taken aim at Scott Morrison for letting the relationship deteriorate to the point of complete breakdown.
‘Anything that hurts Australian jobs is not a good thing. So, we need to work on the relationship,’ he told 2SM radio.
‘This government seems to have presided over a complete breakdown of relationships. The fact that ministers can’t pick up the phone to each other, I find that extraordinary.’
How China’s feud with Australia has escalated
2019: Australian intelligence services conclude that China was responsible for a cyber-attack on Australia’s parliament and three largest political parties in the run-up to a May election.
April 2020: Australian PM Scott Morrison begins canvassing his fellow world leaders for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Britain and France are initially reluctant but more than 100 countries eventually back an investigation.
April 15: Morrison is one of the few leaders to voice sympathy with Donald Trump’s criticisms of the World Health Organization, which the US president accuses of bias towards China.
April 21: China’s embassy accuses Australian foreign minister Peter Dutton of ‘ignorance and bigotry’ and ‘parroting what those Americans have asserted’ after he called for China to be more transparent about the outbreak.
April 23: Australia’s agriculture minister David Littleproud calls for G20 nations to campaign against the ‘wet markets’ which are common in China and linked to the earliest coronavirus cases.
April 26: Chinese ambassador Cheng Jingye hints at a boycott of Australian wine and beef and says tourists and students might avoid Australia ‘while it’s not so friendly to China’. Canberra dismisses the threat and warns Beijing against ‘economic coercion’.
May 11: China suspends beef imports from four of Australia’s largest meat processors. These account for more than a third of Australia’s $1.1billion beef exports to China.
May 18: The World Health Organization backs a partial investigation into the pandemic, but China says it is a ‘joke’ for Australia to claim credit. The same day, China imposes an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley. Australia says it may challenge this at the WTO.
May 21: China announces new rules for iron ore imports which could allow Australian imports – usually worth $41billion per year – to be singled out for extra bureaucratic checks.
June 5: Beijing warns tourists against travelling to Australia, alleging racism and violence against the Chinese in connection with Covid-19.
June 9: China’s Ministry of Education warns students to think carefully about studying in Australia, similarly citing alleged racist incidents.
June 19: Australia says it is under cyber-attack from a foreign state which government sources say is believed to be China. The attack has been targeting industry, schools, hospitals and government officials, Morrison says.
July 9: Australia suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong and offers to extend the visas of 10,000 Hong Kongers who are already in Australia over China’s national security law which effectively bans protest.
August 18: China launches 12-month anti-dumping investigation into wines imported from Australia in a major threat to the $6billion industry.
August 26: Prime Minster Scott Morrison announces he will legislate to stop states and territories signing deals with foreign powers that go against Australia’s foreign policy. Analysts said it is aimed at China.
October 13: Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says he’s investigating reports that Chinese customs officials have informally told state-owned steelmakers and power plants to stop Aussie coal, leaving it in ships off-shore.
November 2: Agriculture Minister David Littleproud reveals China is holding up Aussie lobster imports by checking them for minerals.
November 3: Barley, sugar, red wine, logs, coal, lobster and copper imports from Australia unofficially banned under a directive from the government, according to reports.
November 18: China releases bizarre dossier of 14 grievances with Australia.
November 30: Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted a doctored image showing a grinning Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child. The move outraged Australians