BEIJING: China’s trade with Australia grew strongly last year, with the latest data showing a 23 per cent increase, reaching 923.4 billion
Chinese yuan ($180 billion), driven by China buying more Australian resources. The China customs agency report for 2017 shows 37 per cent growth in Chinese imports from Australia, worth 642.8 billion Chinese yuan. The annual trade figures, telling a story of buoyant growth in the economic relationship, was released on Friday as headlines in two major newspapers, People’s Daily and China Daily, told of a worsening diplomatic spat. People’s Daily criticised Australia’s “diplomatic shortcomings”, after comments by Minister for International Development Concetta Fierravanti-Wells that China was building “white elephants” and “roads to nowhere” with its Pacific aid program. China lodges diplomatic complaint following minister’s comments
Australia was “arrogant” for being unable to tolerate cooperation between Pacific nations and China, the Communist Party’s flagship newspaper reported.