China threatens to cut off imports from Australia if Australia continues to push for independent investigation into the origin of the COVID-19 outbreak

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The Chinese ambassador to Australia has threatened that China may boycott Australian imports if the Australian government continues to push for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison made news last week by asking for international support for an independent international investigation into the outbreak, which would presumably include an investigation into the Chinese government’s handling of the crisis. Morrison reportedly even brought the issue up during the course of telephone calls with leaders from Germany, France, and the United States.

Even before the coronavirus outbreak, relations between China and Australia were already at a breaking point after Australian authorities uncovered a plot late last year in which the Chinese government reportedly attempted to plant a spy in the Australian parliament. Further recent allegations of spying rankled Australians when Australian media reported that the Chinese government may have spied on Chinese scientists who were studying live bats in Australia in order to determine the origins of the coronavirus.

Morrison’s call for an independent investigation appears to have rankled the Chinese government to the point that China’s ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, threatened a Chinese boycott of Australian goods like beef and wine. Jingye claimed, for the benefit of any extremely naive people, that the threat was merely meant to indicate that average Chinese consumers would stop buying Australian products. – READ MORE

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