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China Using Economic Pressure on Australia Following Claims of Cyber-Attack

China: China announced changes to their relations with Australia this week after turning away Australian coal imports at one of China’s Northern ports.  During a press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang stated that the restriction of coal imports was to “protect the interests of Chinese importers and the environment,” however Australian coal is the only one being turned away.  When asked if this was in retaliation to the Australian claims of Chinese involvement in the cyber-attack on the Australian parliament, he did not answer the question head on.  While giving his version of an answer, he danced around the fact that international relations and cyber-actions are tricky things, stressing the fact that better proof should be had before accusing anyone of anything.  He went on to say that strong relations between China and Australia are in both nations’ best interest.

Analyst Notes

This is probably a play by the Chinese government to pressure Australia into dropping their accusations and to pressure them into siding with China on regional issues.