onsdag 18. november 2020

China says relations with Australia are in 'a sharp downturn' -- and it's all Canberra's fault

China has declared Australia must take the blame for "a sharp downturn" in relations between the two countries, with a Foreign Ministry spokesman saying all responsibility is on "some people in Australia (who) tend to regard China's development as a threat." Relations between Australia and China have been frosty for years, but the situation deteriorated rapidly after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in April called for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Chinese government dubbed Morrison's proposal "political manipulation." From May onwards, lucrative Australian exports to China including wine, barley and beef have faced obstacles from China -- including high tariffs, anti-subsidy investigations and lengthy delays clearing customs. In September, the last two reporters from Australian news organizations in China had to be evacuated after they were aggressively questioned by authorities over a national security case involving Cheng Lei, an Australian journalist working for Chinese state media.