David Littleproud speaks during an interview with a media in Buenos Aires, Argentina. File/Reuters
Gulf Today Report
China has indefinitely suspended imports of all Victorian timber logs, after customs officials said they had discovered pests, Australia said.
The General Administration of Customs in China had informed the agriculture department that, “all export of logs from the state of Victoria are suspended as of 11 November,” Australia’s Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said.
Less than a week after an unofficial ban on Australian exports came into effect as China halted timber imports from northeast Queensland state, and Chinese importers told media they had been called to a meeting and informally told by officials that Australian products would face increased customs inspections after Nov.6.
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Chinese officials have denied any coordinated action is being taken against Australian products.
Picture shown is for illustrative purposes only.
Diplomatic relations with China, Australia’s biggest trading partner, have worsened after Canberra called for an international inquiry into the source of the coronavirus.
Australian agriculture officials last week warned 400 exporters there had been recent customs delays in China and commercial losses, including live lobsters that died waiting for customs clearance in Shanghai.
Littleproud said in a statement to Reuters that the latest timber suspension follows the detection of bark beetle in logs exported from Victoria this year and concerns around fumigation of bushfire affected logs.
The agriculture department is working with Victoria’s timber industry to enhance log treatment, he said.
The Australian Forestry Products Association said it was seeking more details from Chinese officials about the incidents.
Yang Hengjun, a former Chinese diplomat turned online journalist and blogger, was last week formally arrested by Chinese authorities, seven months after he was detained in the country.
China’s parliament on Thursday approved a draft decision to change Hong Kong’s electoral system, further reducing democratic representation in the city’s institutions and introducing a mechanism to vet politicians’ loyalty to Beijing.
They also talked about beating the COVID-19 pandemic, combating climate change and working together to hold those responsible for the coup in Myanmar, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
China’s National Radio and Television Administration said an investigation found BBC World News’ China-related reports had “seriously violated” regulations, including that news should be “truthful and fair,” had harmed the country’s national interests and undermined national unity.
Blasts at a Soviet-era dam in the Russian controlled part of southern Ukraine on Tuesday unleashed floodwaters across the war zone, according to both Ukrainian and Russian forces who blamed each other for blowing-up the dam.
Nearly 13,400 people were forced to evacuate as water consumed hundreds of homes around the country, turning some streets into raging rivers of brown water, according to Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency.
Sheikh Hamdan said on Twitter, "We extend our sincere condolences and sympathy to the family, relatives, companions and readers of Khalid Al Qashtini, the Iraqi journalist and writer, and the owner of the creative pen, who enriched our Arab world with his publications. With his departure, the Arab media loses a symbol of creativity.”