Australia China News: Beijing Ignores Australia's Plea To Ease Tension

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Donald Trump, Shinzo Abe, Xi Jinping, Roberto Azevedo, Scott Morrison
US President Donald Trump, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, China's President Xi Jinping, World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo and Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison attend a meeting on the digital economy at the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019. JACQUES WITT/AFP via Getty Images

Australia on Monday revealed that China has remained unresponsive to its pleas to ease tension between the two states. This follows Canberra’s call for an independent investigation into the origins and global response of nations to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham revealed he has been requesting for a discussion with his Chinese counterpart for weeks but has been ignored. 

“Unfortunately, our requests for a discussion have so far been met negatively,” Birmingham said in a radio interview. “That’s disappointing.”

Australia earlier called for an international probe into the coronavirus pandemic, which many believe originated from a wildlife market in Wuhan, China. Officials, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, have already clarified the investigation is not a direct attack on Beijing and the latter will not be targeted. 

Despite this, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has voiced its opposition to the move and even threatened its trade partner that the nation may boycott its products.

"Maybe the ordinary people will say, 'Why should we drink Australian wine? Eat Australian beef?’" Chinese Ambassador to Australia Cheng Jingye said in April

The CCP has also accused Australia of playing “petty tricks.” It has since suspended beef imports from Australia’s largest meat processors. China is one of Australia’s largest trade partners. 

The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism has also issued a travel alert against Australia, warning “significant increase” in racist attacks among “Chinese and Asian people.”

While she did not deny Birmingham’s comments, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said the country hopes “Australia will meet China halfway, truly adhere to principles of mutual respect and equality.”

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