Rio Tinto BHP
(Image: AAP/Alan Porritt)

Fresh from the outrage of blowing up ancient Juukan rock shelters in Western Australia -- an act which has seen top executives stripped of their bonuses -- London-based miner Rio Tinto has embarked once more on its next insult for Australia: plans to develop the massive Simandou iron ore deposit in West Africa.

This is just what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has ordered. As evidenced by last week’s decision to launch an anti-dumping action on Australian wine, the CCP is determined to play havoc with Australian exports to China. 

Wine joins a growing list of exports -- alongside barley and thermal coal -- which China is diversifying away from Australia in retaliation for a growing list of real and perceived insults. These include the banning of Huawei Technology from 5G networks, speaking out against China’s egregious human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the imposition of harsh new security laws in Hong Kong, and a recast defence policy that clearly targets China as a threat.