As time wears on China is 'damaging itself' in the international space

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The Morrison government is right to go to the World Trade Organisation because "China claims that it adheres to the rules-based international system," says former foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham on Wednesday announced the Australian government will appeal to the WTO over China’s decision to impose huge tariffs on Australian barley earlier this year, which threatened the viability of the sector.

"It is important that the Australian government does take this action," Mr Downer told Sky News host Cory Bernardi.

"It might take a couple of years for it to be resolved, and if it were resolved in favour of Australia, then China could ignore that decision and that would be problematic for China in terms of its international standing".

"So, I think we need to do it".

Mr Downer also discussed what more Australia could do on the issue.

"We need to work with like-minded countries, not just the Anglosphere, not just the Five Eyes countries. though first and foremost with them, but also with the Japanese and the European Union and other countries ... in the Indo-Pacific region.

"I think as time wears on, China is damaging itself in the international space and these countries will more readily coalesce with each other to put increasing pressure on China".
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