China cuts Australian beef imports after warning over virus probe

first_imgTopics : China suspended imports from four major Australian beef suppliers Tuesday, just weeks after Beijing’s ambassador warned of a consumer boycott in retaliation for Canberra’s push to probe the origins of the coronavirus.Analysts said the move raised concerns of a possible standoff between Australia and its most important trading partner that could spill over into other crucial sectors as it struggles to navigate the disease-induced economic crisis.Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said shipments of meat from the abattoirs had been suspended over “minor technical” breaches related to Chinese health and labeling certificate requirements. Fears for other sectors The calls have drawn threats from Beijing, with ambassador Cheng Jingye calling them “dangerous”.In an interview with the Australian Financial Review last month, he said: “The Chinese public is frustrated, dismayed and disappointed with what Australia is doing now.”If the mood is going from bad to worse, people would think ‘why should we go to such a country that is not so friendly to China?’ The tourists may have second thoughts.”He added: “It is up to the people to decide. Maybe the ordinary people will say ‘Why should we drink Australian wine? Eat Australian beef?'”Cheng also threatened the flow of Chinese students to Australian universities, a key source of revenue that is already under threat from pandemic travel restrictions.But speaking in Canberra, Birmingham said the government was treating the trade issues as unrelated to discussions around a virus probe.”It’s in no way related, in no way related, to the export arrangements for Australian beef or for Australian barley or for anything else,” he said.”We certainly don’t see any relationship, and we would expect that no other counterpart country should see a relationship between those factors either.”The countries were already at loggerheads after Australia hit China with huge anti-dumping levies on several products including and steel.Beijing has also been riled by a decision to ban controversial telecoms giant Huawei from building Australia’s 5G network.And there are fears of a further escalation of the standoff and its impact on their two-way trade, which is worth about Aus$235 billion.”The risk is, of course, that this broadens out to more critical areas such as iron ore, coal, education, LNG, etcetera,” said AxiCorp’s Stephen Innes.He added: “But if it stays at beef and barley, then economically, it shouldn’t matter much for Australia.”The benchmark ASX200 ended down 1.1 percent Tuesday, while the Australian dollar fell around 0.5 percent against the US dollar.  “We are concerned that the suspensions appear to be based on highly technical issues, which in some cases date back more than a year,” he added.”We will work with industry and authorities in both Australia and China to seek to find a solution that allows these businesses to resume their normal operations as soon as possible.”The four meatworks account for around 35 percent of Australia’s beef exports to China in a trade worth about Aus$1.7 billion (US$1.1 billion), according to national broadcaster ABC.China has also flagged major tariffs on Australian barley over allegations it is selling the grain in China for less than it costs to produce it — known as dumping. The Australian Financial Review cited confidential documents as saying Beijing is considering duties of 73.6 percent.  Tensions between the two have increased since Australia started calling for an independent investigation into the origin of the coronavirus outbreak, which began in China before spreading around the world, killing more than 280,000, infecting millions and shattering the global economy.last_img read more

Wellington Aquatic Center may re-open on Saturday

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington Aquatic Center will remain closed for today and Wellington Recreation Commission officials hope that it will reopen Saturday.A faulty valve and pump forced city employees to drain the pool on Wednesday.The pool’s mechanical issues are fixed, but now it takes time to refill the pool. WRC Director Cody White said it takes about 40-45 hours to fill the pool back up and get it properly treated. He said there are two pipes leading to the pool with city water and well water being pumped in.“We’ll monitor the situation and hopefully we’ll be back open on Saturday,” White said. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (8) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. -9 Vote up Vote down Just Wondering · 375 weeks ago Who pays for the water that is used each year at the pool each and every time it is pumped and refilled? Rec Center or the City tax payers? Plus I am just curious are they penalized the same as regular users if they over exceed their monthly usage? Report Reply 3 replies · active 375 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down CueballSumnernewscow 94p · 375 weeks ago The rec is part of the government so either way it is the taxpayers. Are you insinuating they are wasting taxpayers money, because maintenance is a fact of life. Report Reply 0 Vote up Vote down Maggie · 375 weeks ago I think maybe what he was getting at is are the fees the Rec center charges users of the pool sufficient to cover costs like these, or does the city not bill for the pool water use at all? Report Reply +1 Vote up Vote down wellingtoncitizen · 375 weeks ago I see that they are filling it with well water and city water so of course well water nobody is paying for. I have never been penalized for over exceeding the monthly usage of water and have never heard of that so please show us where you have got that information. I would think if the rec is part of the government then you should be able to see the budget for the pool. Report Reply +7 Vote up Vote down Hmmm…. · 375 weeks ago Do you realize almost every city has a pool? Gripe,gripe,gripe. Do you realize the pool employees a lot of people who in turn spend that money helping to keep your taxes lower. You have to spend money to save money sometimes. Besides where would all those kids that have nothing better to do go? Short answer, no where good. Report Reply 1 reply · active 375 weeks ago -3 Vote up Vote down Maggie · 375 weeks ago I grew up in a small town that didn’t have a city pool or a rec center, and I somehow managed to escape being a juvenile delinquent. I’m not saying the pool isn’t a nice facility to have, because it is, but that doesn’t mean the taxpayer’s aren’t allowed to ask questions about the operation, management, and costs of the facility. Report Reply -5 Vote up Vote down Tired Taxpayer · 375 weeks ago I seriously thought those were some good questions and only got smart remarks back from the select few I figured would. I guess this just continues to allow the rec center to stash back even more money in their rainy day funds. Seems like any tax exempt enity can take advantage of their private/government status. Just curious how much money does the rec center now have in their accounts? I don’t believe any part of the City of Wellington/Rec Center should have an account of over $1 million dollars for future build and still be able to collect taxes from the tax payers until that money is spent. Report Reply 0 replies · active 375 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down Jayhawks · 375 weeks ago I pay taxes and I am happy to help fill the pool back up. My kids work there and it is a great place to work and have went there for 14 years for good family fun. Some people complain to complain. They have done it so long I don’t think they even realize they are doing it. Get positive, this is something great for Wellington. Report Reply 0 replies · active 375 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. 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