June 5, 2018 / 6:00 AM / 18 days ago

TIMELINE-Australia's deteriorating relationship with China

SYDNEY, June 5 (Reuters) - Senior Australian government ministers accused China on Tuesday of exerting undue pressure on Qantas Airways Ltd to change its website to refer to Taiwan as a Chinese territory.

The comments will likely stoke tensions between Australia and China.

The following is a timeline of a diplomatic disagreement that threatens two-way trade.

Dec 5, 2017

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull cites “disturbing reports about Chinese influence” as justification for new legislation to curb foreign influence.

Dec 8, 2017

China lodges formal complaint over Turnbull’s allegation.

Jan 8, 2018

Australia’s Minister for the Pacific Concetta Fierravanti-Wells says China is building “useless buildings” and “roads to nowhere” in the Pacific as Beijing attempts to use economic aid to exert influence in the region.

Feb 24, 2018

Turnbull meets U.S. President Donald Trump for talks, during which the issue of China’s rising power is discussed.

March 13, 2018

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop uses a high-profile speech to call on countries to abide by international law in settling disputes, widely seen as a thinly veiled dig at China’s territorial activities in the South China Sea.

April 18, 2018

Turnbull asks Commonwealth countries to increase economic aid to the Pacific to counter China’s rising influence.

May 17, 2018

Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates Ltd, the world’s largest listed winemaker, says its products are experiencing delays in clearing China’s customs - a problem only experienced by Australian products.

May 31, 2018

China rejects a request for a senior bilateral meeting for Australia’s Minister of Trade Steven Ciobo, undermining Canberra’s efforts to assist Treasury Wine.

June 5, 2018

Bishop criticises China for pressuring Qantas to change its website to recognise Taiwan as a Chinese territory. (Reporting by Colin Packham Editing by Paul Tait)

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