Buy an Australian bottle of wine or two (or three) in December and show Chinese President Xi Jinping the world will not be cowed by his “bullying of Australia.”
That was the simple call Tuesday from the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), comprising more than 200 MPs from a range of political parties and representing 19 country legislatures.
The political grouping has launched a campaign to convince people to enjoy Australian wine in December, as a show of solidarity with the land Down Under, as The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The call to drink up comes just three days after Beijing turned the screws on Australian wine exports with punitive tariffs of up to 212 percent, essentially closing off a U.S.$1 billion market.
As Breitbart News reported, biting new Chinese trade tariffs across the board have stoked fears Australia’s virus-weakened economy is being targeted for political retribution and the two countries may be sliding into a shadow trade war after a year-long confrontation that began with claims over the origins of the coronavirus.
Australia confronted the World Health Organization over claims it supports so-called wet markets reopening in the Chinese city of Wuhan. https://t.co/TjH4HmGDzv
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 17, 2020
The Herald reports the global alliance of cross-party representatives, who have banded together to try to counter China’s increasing aggression particularly against Australia, released a video in which MPs from Japan, Italy, Germany, the United States and even Australia’s wine-producing rival New Zealand, among others, urge their citizens to enjoy an Australian drop.
“Italy is the country that exports the most wine of any country in the world,” Italian Democratic Party Senator Roberto Rampi says in Italian, holding up a bottle of Italian red.
“C’mon, who needs wine when you have Aquavit?” jokes Norway’s former Liberal party leader and MP Trine Skei Grande.
— Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (@ipacglobal) December 1, 2020
“You know what? Japanese sake is the best!” says Shiori Yamao, an independent member of Japan’s House of Representatives before Republican Senator Ted Yoho declares “two words – Napa Valley”, before saying it is time to “drink something a little bit different” and buy Australian wine, “because our friends need our help”.
“We are asking you all to join us in standing against Xi Jinping’s authoritarian bullying,” says Miriam Lexmann, a Christian Democrat Member of the European Parliament.
“By drinking a bottle or two of Australian wine and letting the Chinese Communist Party know that we will not be bullied,” says Swedish Christian Democratic, Elisabet Lann, a municipal councillor who holds up a glass of Penfolds.
Even the U.S. National Security Council has joined the fray.
It tweeted Australian wine would be featured at a White House function this week. “Pity vino lovers in China who, due to Beijing’s coercive tariffs on Aussie vintners, will miss out,” the post said, along with the hashtag “AussieAussieAussieOiOiOi”.
Australian wine will be featured at a White House holiday reception this week. Pity vino lovers in China who, due to Beijing’s coercive tariffs on Aussie vintners, will miss out. #AussieAussieAussieOiOiOi!
— NSC (@WHNSC) December 1, 2020
In recent months, Beijing has targeted a host of Australian imports including coal, sugar, barley and lobsters amid political tensions.
Officials in China have argued some Australian wine is being sold cheaper there (dumped) than in its home market through the use of subsidies. Australia has rejected that assertion.
China is the biggest destination for Australia’s wine exports, accounting for 39 percent in the first nine months of 2020, according to Wine Australia.