Australia says China unresponsive to its pleas to ease tensions

WION Web Team
Melbourne, Australia Updated: Jun 08, 2020, 09:32 AM(IST)

Australia-China Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

China has also, following this accusation, warned its population against travelling to Australia, citing possibility of racial discrimination and violence

A verbal war has been going on between China and Australia over the origin of the novel coronavirus that has taken more than 402,699 lives and has infected 7 million people globally.

The spat began between two trading partners when Australia called for an international enquiry into the origin of the novel coronavirus, alleging that the virus probably originated from a wildlife market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

China replied to this accusation by calling this to be Australia's "petty tricks". Chinese ambassador to Australia went on to warn a possibility of Chinese population boycotting Australian products if the latter continue pursuing the investigation. China is by far Australia's biggest export market, taking more than 30% of Australia's exports by value.

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Now, Australia has stated that China has been unresponsive its weeks-long pleas to ease tensions.

"Unfortunately, our requests for a discussion have so far been met negatively," Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham told a local broadcaster. "That's disappointing."

China has also, following this accusation, warned its population against travelling to Australia, citing possibility of racial discrimination and violence. China has also suspended beef imports from four of Australia's largest meat processors and imposed hefty tariffs on imports of barley. However, the officials have stated this to be unrelated to the ongoing verbal war.

China has not yet responded to this accusation by Australia.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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