Chinese authorities have reportedly told state-owned power plants to buy coal locally instead of from Australia as the trade war between the two countries escalates. China earlier banned Australian beef and slapped an 80 per cent tax on barley in the wake of Canberra's calls for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Australia's coal industry, which brings in tens of billions of dollars to the economy, may be next in facing tougher restrictions. China's retaliation has sparked fears of a global trade war involving other countries who backed an inquiry, including Britain, although Beijing claims the changes are nothing to do with coronavirus. China's ambassador in Canberra has previously hinted at a boycott of Australian goods after Scott Morrison's government rallied global support for an inquiry angering President Xi Jinping (pictured inset).
The trade war with China continues: Beijing orders power plants to stop buying Australian coal - after announcing new checks on iron ore