New Zealand joins global call to drink Australian wine to show support in China stoush

New Zealand has joined in a global call to drink Australian wine in a bid to send a message to the Chinese Government.

A new campaign by the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) - a group comprising more than 200 MPs from 19 countries - is urging consumers to buy a bottle of Australia wine in December to show China it can't "bully" other countries with its economic might.

In a video released online this week a number of politicians from around the world - including Labour MP Louisa Wall - are seen lauding the merits of their own country's alcohol. 

"After a hard day's work nothing beats a glass of New Zealand pinot," says Wall in the video, which includes Chinese subtitles.

Other politicians are also shown boasting of the quality of their country's alcohol, before Republican senator Ted Yoho says despite how good the various countries' wine may be in December everyone will be "drinking something a little different - because our friends need our help."

The campaign comes after China placed tariffs of up to 212 percent on Australian wine amid growing political tension between the two countries. 

China's commerce ministry said the taxes were temporary anti-dumping measures to stop subsidised imports of wine from Australia, and the latest tariffs follow a number of other measures - including bans and other taxes - imposed on Australian agricultural exports in recent months.

 New Zealand joins global call to drink Australian wine to show support in China stoush
Photo credit: Twitter / IPAC

Australian senator Kimberley Kitching said the moves were politically motivated.

"Earlier this month the Chinese government handed the Australian government a list of 14 grievances demanding that Australia stop voicing out in defence of human rights and rules-based order," Kitching says in the video.

"China has cancelled a whole range of Australian imports in an attempt to bully us into abandoning our values. One of the worst-affected industries is the Australian wine industry. This isn't just an attack on Australia, it's an attack on free countries everywhere." 

Elizabet Lann, a municipal councillor from Sweden, said in the video that drinking Australian wine would show the Chinese government "we will not be bullied".

 New Zealand joins global call to drink Australian wine to show support in China stoush
Photo credit: Twitter / IPAC

IPAC was formed earlier this year by a "cross party group of legislators working towards reform on how democratic countries approach China," according to its official website.

"It is made up of global legislators and led by a group of co-chairs, who are senior politicians drawn from a representative cross-section of the world’s major political parties."

Thirty-nine percent of Australian wine exports go to China, and Australia's Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the tariffs would be a "devastating blow" to the industry.

"The cumulative impact of China's trade sanctions against a number of Australian industries during the course of this year does give rise to the perception these actions are being undertaken as a result or in response to some other factors," Birmingham said late last month when the tariffs were imposed.