The Australian call for an international investigation into the corona pandemic continues to put pressure on its relations with China. The Australian Foreign Minister even urged Beijing not to heighten the ‘economic pressure’ over 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 no need for such an investigation. The Chinese ambassador to Australia warned in an interview that Chinese consumers may decide to boycott Australian products and universities because of the matter.
‘Maybe people say. Why should we drink Australian wine? Or eat Australian beef?’ said Ambassador Cheng Jingye. He also argued that Chinese vacationers can stay away.
‘I think in the long term… if the mood is going from bad to worse, people would think ‘Why should we go to such a country that is not so friendly to China? The tourists may have second thoughts,’ he told The Australian newspaper Financial Review.
‘The parents of the students would also think whether this place which they found is not so friendly, even hostile, whether this is the best place to send our kids.’
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne 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.’