Beijing, November 9
China on Monday said it has no information on reports of an Indian ship with a 23-member crew carrying Australian coal stranded off China’s coast for the past five months waiting for permission to off load its cargo.
Asked about reports of an Indian ship stuck close to a port near Tangshan in China’s Hebei province since June and if the reason has anything to do with the bad relations between China and Australia, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said he had no information about it.
“I don’t know the specific situation you mentioned. I suggest you check with the relevant competent authority or local government,” Wenbin said during a media briefing here.
According to media reports, an Indian ship named ‘Jag Anand’ has been stuck at China’s Jingtang port since June with the crew members seeking immediate help.
Relations between Australia and China in the past few months nose-dived after Australia barred Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies from its national 5G network over national security concerns.
China also resented Canberra’s push for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus in April.
Reports from Australia say China has been restricting a number of Australian exports, including coal.
Apart from this, China appears to be irked by a law Australia passed in 2018 that banned covert foreign interference in domestic politics and made industrial espionage for a foreign power a crime.
The laws offended the nation’s most important trading partner, China.
Recently, the Chinese Communist Party-controlled Global Times reported that China had asked traders to stop buying at least seven categories of Australian products: coal, barley, copper ore and concentrate, sugar, timber, wine and lobsters. PTI