Diplomatic relations have cooled between the two countries but he insists, ‘it is not a trade-off between trade and national security’

Minister for trade Steven Ciobo has played down Australia’s “go-slow” delays and issues with China as merely an “irritant”, while insisting Australia does not have to choose between trade policy and national security when it comes to its Sino relations.

Ciobo, who was unable to meet his Chinese ministerial counterpart while in China last month, spent his press club address insisting Australia’s trade relationship with the economic superpower was not at risk. His address came as wine producers, who have been facing export delays, called on Malcolm Turnbull to head to China and heal any rifts.

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