China hits Australian wine with steep tariffs

China has taken aim at Australia's wine industry with a steep increase in tariffs that it says are a response to unfairly low prices.

The commerce ministry says the anti-dumping duties of 116.2 percent to 218.4 percent will remain in effect for five years.

The decision is a major blow to Australian wine imports, which are still recovering from temporary duties imposed by China last year, as part of an anti-dumping probe..

Australia says the allegations of dumping are groundless.

Ties between the countries have been strained since Canberra called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus.

Analysts say China may also be wary of Australia's participation in the so-called "Quad," a four-way alliance including Japan, the US and India.

The countries recently agreed to work together more closely on a range of matters, apparently to counter China.