Aussie wheat under scrutiny from China
The Australian wheat sector is now embroiled in the ongoing trade wars involving Beijing's crackdown on foreign imports.
According to the ABC, China's General Administration of Customs has issued a notice stating it will apply "enhanced inspection" efforts on shipments of Australian wheat.
Wheat producers have already sold more than a dozen shipments to China for December and January worth approximately $250 million.
While China depends on imports for feed grain, the move puts Australian wheat producers in a precarious position while they await the results of China's inspections.
In May, China imposed an astronomical 80 per cent tariff on Australia's barley exports which were then worth $1.6 billion a year.
Beijing also rejected barley shipments from WA grain handler CBH on grounds the vessels were contaminated with vermin.
The sanctions appear to be political as China has lashed out against Australia's grain, coal and wine exports and tourism.
CBH issued a statement in which it said: "The CBH Group is confident that the grain we export from Western Australia meets all Australian phytosanitary export requirements, whether it is barley, wheat or other products."
Grain Producers Australia chairman Andrew Weidemann said the news was no surprise.
"This is not unexpected that they would heighten their increased surveillance on any grain, or any producer really, transferring from Australia to China at the moment," Mr Weidemann said.
US CHINA TENSIONS ESCALATE
The US ambassador to China will step down amid growing tensions between China and the US.
According to the New York Post, Terry Branstad will be stepping down, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in a series of tweets sent Sunday night into Monday morning local time.
"I thank Ambassador Terry Branstad for his more than three years of service to the American people as U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China," the nation's top diplomat began.
Mr Pompeo declined to provide a reason for Mr Branstad's sudden departure, but praised his work for the Trump administration overseas.
"Ambassador Branstad has contributed to rebalancing U.S.-China relations so that it is results-oriented, reciprocal, and fair," Mr Pompeo said, adding, "This will have lasting, positive effects on U.S. foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific for decades to come."
CHINA TOP MILITARY BRASS SLAMS US
But China doesn't hold such a rosy view and slammed a critical Pentagon report on Beijing's military ambitions, saying the US is the one that poses the biggest threat to world peace.
Colonel Wu Qian, spokesman from the Chinese Defence Ministry called the report a "wanton distortion" of China's aims.
"Many years of evidence shows that it is the US that is the fomenter of regional unrest, the violator of the international order and the destroyer of world peace," he said.
The statement comes after the US Defence Department claims China's rapid military development would have "serious implications for US national interests and the security of the international rules-based order" in an annual report.
China is also expected to double the size of its nuclear arsenal in the next decade as the country seeks to further expand its global power, the US warned.
The analysis continued by saying that China already achieved parity with - or even exceeded - the US in several military modernisation areas.
It also claimed that the Chinese military has made major progress in ship building, the development of ballistic and cruise missiles as well as integrated air defence systems.
Originally published as Aussie wheat under scrutiny from China