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International relations

China-Australia ties plumb new depths over subs, trade and coral

Cancellation of joint Antarctic research raises concerns about slippery slope

A Chinese submarine off Qingdao: An Australian research body has called off a project with the Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, amid security concerns.   © Reuters

SYDNEY -- China and Australia are trading blows again in rapid-fire fashion, taking their already fraught relationship to new lows and undermining even academic cooperation on a problem as universal as climate change.

Beijing's Commerce Ministry this week lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization over old Australian tariffs on railway wheels, wind turbines and stainless steel sinks, days after Canberra went to the WTO over China's 200% tariffs on Australian wine.

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