China warns of economic hit over COVID inquiry

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Published on April 27, 2020 by

Australia has been warned by the Chinese ambassador that it could face an economic hit if it does not back down from a push into the nation’s handling of the coronavirus.

Ambassador Cheng Jingye on Monday said the push was “dangerous” and could encourage Chinese citizens to not purchase Australian exports or travel to the nation.

The government however is not backing down from the call for an independent inquiry, with Foreign Minister Marise Payne criticising the threat of an economic hit due to the push.

“Australia has made a principled call for an independent review of the COVID-19 outbreak, an unprecedented global crisis with severe health, economic and social impacts,” she said.

“We reject any suggestion that economic coercion is an appropriate response to a call for such an assessment, when what we need is global co-operation.”

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