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China blocks Australian timber imports in widening trade row

Logs joins lobsters, coal and cotton on list of targets as bilateral ties fray

Imported timber at an industrial park in China's Jiangxi Province: China accounted for 84% of Australia's timber exports in the year through June.   © Reuters

BEIJING/SYDNEY -- China has suspended imports of timber from the Australian state of Queensland, China's foreign ministry confirmed Monday, expanding a trade clampdown amid souring relations between the two countries.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin placed the blame on the Australian side in a news conference. "The Chinese customs has since January detected many cases of live pests in timber imported from Australia" that could "gravely endanger China's forestry production and ecological security," he said.

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