Source: Dubai – Arabic.net
An unprecedented flare-up in China-Australia relations, Tuesday, as the two sides exchanged criticism and harsh words amid sharp diplomatic row over the support of Australia to open a global investigation into the origin of the emerging corona virus.
The dispute overshadowed Australia’s relative success in containing the pandemic, after it raged with China, its largest trading partner, following the World Health Assembly’s decision to support the opening of the investigation.
It is only a joke
In a statement marked by unprecedented roughness and issued on the same day that China imposed high tariffs on Australian barley exports, the Chinese embassy in Canberra said Australia’s claim that the decision amounted to support for its endeavor for a global review “is nothing but a joke.” “The draft resolution on Covid-19 to be adopted by the World Health Assembly is very different from Australia’s proposal for an independent international review,” the Chinese embassy spokesman said in an emailed statement.
While Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham responded in a comment to Sky News when asked about this statement, saying, “Australia will not engage in cheap politicization of an issue as important as Covid-19.” “I thought that the appropriate response from the Chinese ambassador to Australia would be to welcome these results and to welcome the opportunity to all work together on this important issue,” he added.
This came after Chinese President Xi Jinping assured the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, that China would support a comprehensive review of this health issue but after controlling the outbreak of the virus.
It also coincided with the approval of the Member States of the World Health Organization today, Tuesday, to open an investigation into the response of the United Nations agency to the outbreak of the emerging virus in light of the escalation of American criticism of the way it deals with the epidemic.
I have an economical arm
The Chinese ambassador had previously warned against the possibility of boycotting Australian goods, prompting them to accuse China of “economic coercion.”
Many considered the tariffs on the barley exports that followed and the revocation of licenses of many of Australia’s largest meat manufacturers a retaliatory response.
It is noteworthy that this dispute could undermine Australia’s plans to allow the resumption of more public activities this week as part of the first phase of a three-stage plan implemented by the government to reopen companies, schools, restaurants and other activities to support the economy.
While the Reserve Bank of Australia also warned today, Tuesday, that the country faces an “unprecedented” economic contraction, but a package of fiscal and stimulus monetary policies would mitigate the impact.