PortandTerminal.com, April 27, 2020
China’s ambassador threatens severe economic consequences if Australia doesn’t back down from launching a coronavirus inquiry.
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – China has threatened to stop importing wine and beef from Australia if the Australian government continues to push for an inquiry into the origin of the global coronavirus outbreak.
It has also warned Australia that a strong stance against China could impact tourists and students from China to Australia. Education is Australia’s third-biggest export and is worth more than $30 billion to the economy every year.
The Australian government, however, is not backing down from the call for an independent inquiry, with Foreign Minister Marise Payne criticising the threat of an economic hit due to the push.
“Australia has made a principled call for an independent review of the COVID-19 outbreak, an unprecedented global crisis with severe health, economic and social impacts,” she said. “We reject any suggestion that economic coercion is an appropriate response to a call for such an assessment when what we need is global co-operation.”
Beijing is battling with many countries in the wake of the damage wrought to the global economy by the Covid-19.
Other foreign leaders are also asking similar questions about China’s handling of COVID-19. France’s President Emanuelle Macron told the Financial Times that it was “naive” to suggest China had dealt better with the crisis, adding things “happened that we don’t know about”.
President Macron’s interview came after tension which saw the summoning of the Chinese ambassador to Paris by the French foreign ministry to express disapproval over an article on the Chinese embassy’s website that said Western countries had left the elderly to die in care homes.
China has also been critical of the U.S. handling of the coronavirus crisis.
“The COVID-19 spread in the U.S. is almost like that of a primitive society. It should not have been like this if the U.S. had the slightest science and organization.The Global Times, Chinese state media outlet
Worldwide, more than three million people have been infected and more than 208,000 people have died from the virus which originated in Wuhan, China.
The US, France, Italy and Spain are amongst the worst affected countries.
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