WELCOME TO EDITION 796 of GRAPEVINE
China has declared war on Australian wine with duties in triple digits.
XI Jinping finds Penfolds Grange too in-his-face fruity over more elegant Lafite-Rothschild.
That is pure conjecture and would not be fair anyway because Grange is principally Shiraz and Lafite a blend, including of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
The world’s most populous country is accusing Down Under of dumping wine on the Middle Kingdom.
This is an unusual accusation as no other wine producing country that imports Aussie wine has made the same charge.
If that were truly the case, than Australia would also be dumping lobster, sugar, coal, timber, wool, barley and copper on China as those produce were also banned from 7 November 2020;
The two principal reasons for the hikes of up to 200% duties – effectively a ban – are actually Covid 19 and Uighurs.
The Scott Morrison Government had called for an independent global investigation into the origins of Covid 19 and also raised the issue of China’s crackdown on Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang.
Australia has irked China to no end (in sight?).
The casualties, though, are not just Aussie workers, producers and corporations.
There are about 200,000 Chinese enrolled as students in Australia.
Most will not find a friendly reception when they return. If they can even return because of Covid. Their absence or departure will further erode the Australian economy which will miss their spending power.
Chinese who have bought homes in Australia – estimated to be in the tune of around US$45 billion – should also see their value go south as relations strain.
Welcome to war.
Easy to start but difficult to end.
In the middle, there will be many casualties.
Targetted, unintended, and victims of “friendly fire”.
Wishing you A Good Week Ahead.