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Yang Hengjun’s Suspended Death Sentence Rocks Australia-China Relations

Yang Hengjun's Suspended Death Sentence Rocks Australia-China Relations (Photo: Google)

The recent breakthrough in Australia-China relations has been tainted by the Beijing court’s decision to postpone Australian writer Yang Hengjun’s death sentence. After years of hostility, this undermines diplomatic efforts between the two major economic partners.

Yang Hengjun’s Suspended Death Sentence Rocks Australia-China Relations (Photo: Google)

Australia-China Relations

Australia-China relations have had ups and downs in the last several years. 2014 saw the signing of a significant free trade agreement between China and Australia. However in 2017, Australia banned foreign political donations due to concerns about Chinese influence, and in 2018, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd was prevented from supplying 5G internet network equipment.

China vowed to ban Australian wine, cattle, and tourism in April 2020 after Australia asked for cooperation in an international investigation into the COVID-19 epidemic. China detained Australian citizen Cheng Lei, a business presenter on state television, in reaction to racist incidents and warned students to reconsider studying in Australia.

China reversed course and permitted Australian coal shipments in late 2020 and early 2021, despite these obstacles. Following a meeting with Premier Li and Chinese President Xi Jinping in November 2023, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese proposed better ties.

READ ALSO: Tension Rise As Beijing’s Military Moves Near Taiwan Persist Despite US China Talks Announcement

Questions Surface Following Diplomatic Failure

The latest verdict against Yang Hengjun calls into question this diplomatic victory. It may sabotage attempts to lessen China’s hefty tariffs on Australian wine in 2021 as well as high-level bilateral consultations.

As both countries bounce back from this recent setback, their alliance can encounter new challenges and opportunities.

READ ALSO: China Cyber Threat To US Disrupted, But Warning: Hackers Still Pose Havoc Risks For Americans!

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