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Australia and China Bicker Over Coronavirus Research

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The Australian call for an international investigation into the corona pandemic continues to put pressure on relations with China.

 

Australian Foreign Minister urged Beijing on Monday not to put “economic pressure” on the issue.

Australia called for an investigation into how the outbreak of the virus was handled earlier this month. That surfaced in China at the end of last year and then spread around the world. More than 200,000 people have already died.

China sees nothing in such an investigation.

The Chinese ambassador to Australia warned in an interview that Chinese consumers might decide to boycott Australian products and universities because of the matter.

“Maybe people are saying ‘why should we drink Australian wine? Or eat Australian beef?’ Said Ambassador Cheng Jingye.

He also argued that Chinese vacationers could stay away.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne (Foreign Affairs) defended her government’s position in a statement on Monday. She said that “economic pressure is not an appropriate response to a request for an investigation”.

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