Taiwan and Australia join forces to negotiate free trade agreement to deal with Chinese Communist bullying

In an interview with the Australian media on May 31, Tao Lingwen, director of the Brisbane office, pointed out that the rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific region have sharply reduced the scale of trade between Australia and China, and Taiwan will push for the signing of a free trade agreement with Australia.

Tao said that both Taiwan and Australia have been subjected to “economic bullying” by the Chinese Communist Party, for example, the Chinese Communist Party does not allow Taiwan pineapple imports, prohibits imports of Australian coal, and imposes anti-dumping duties on Australian wine.

Taiwan is Australia’s 6th largest export market, and Australia exports a large amount of coal, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and agricultural products to Taiwan every year. Tao said the trade volume between Taiwan and Australia has been as high as 12 billion Australian dollars (about NT $256.5 billion), and the two countries have formed a complementary trade relationship, with Taiwan importing large quantities of Australian raw materials and beef, while Australia also imports large quantities of Taiwan’s electronic products and auto parts.

Tao said that if you look at Australia’s trade surplus with Taiwan, it has come to 9 billion Australian dollars (about NT $192.2 billion), and it is rising year by year. He said, if calculated on a per capita basis, Taiwan is also the largest buyer of Australian products.

Comprehensive media reports, although the Australian government had further discussions with Taiwan on economic and trade cooperation in 2020, however, the future may be with the signing of a free trade agreement between the two countries, fearing that the original already strained Australia-China relations will continue to deteriorate.

Tao Linwen believes that Taiwan’s new southbound policy will prompt Taiwanese businessmen to increase the scale of investment in Australian real estate. Taiwan is also seeking Australia’s support to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).