Australia will take China to the global trade umpire over massive tariffs on barley, further escalating the bitter row between the two nations.
Australian farmers were effectively blocked from exporting barley to China in June when import taxes of 80.5 per cent were imposed.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham announced Australia would take the dispute to the World Trade Organisation on Wednesday evening.
"This is the logical and appropriate next step for Australia to take," he told reporters in Canberra.
Resolving the dispute through the WTO could take years.
China claims the tariffs are a result of an anti-dumping investigation, a claim rubbished by the Australian government and growers.
"We want a specific outcome that recognises Australia's grain growers and barley industry operate in nothing other than entirely commercial ways and with the utmost of integrity," Senator Birmingham said.
He is also hopeful the WTO will push China to changes its ways after finding authorities' claims are not backed up by evidence.
Beijing has launched trade strikes against a range of Australian products including coal, wine, beef, lobster and timber with diplomatic relations in the doldrums.
Senator Birmingham said the government would consider taking disputes over other commodities to the WTO but urged his Chinese counterpart to restart dialogue.
China has raised a slew of concerns about Australia's foreign interference and investment laws and push for an independent inquiry into the origins of coronavirus.
The trade minister rejected suggestions blocking Chinese bids for a dairy and gas pipelines were evidence of a tougher stance.
"Over the last 12 months the vast majority of applications have been approved, including the vast majority of applications received from Chinese applicants," Senator Birmingham said.
The barley dispute will enter a months-long consultation phase before the case is considered by the WTO.
But the appeals mechanism within the international trade body is paralysed after the Trump administration blocked appointments to the appellate body.
Senator Birmingham said the prospect of an appeal was some way off, noting China and Australia were among the countries trying to solve the impasse.
Australian Associated Press