Australia `accused` China of ignoring calls to reduce trade tensions 0Australia `accused` China of ignoring calls to reduce trade tensions 0

(Dan Tri) – Australia today urged China to respond to its proposal to discuss reducing trade tensions, after Canberra called for an international investigation into the origin of the virus that causes Covid-19.

Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham (Photo: ABC)

China, which has accused Australia of playing a `petty game,` recently stopped importing beef from Australia’s four largest beef producers and is considering imposing high tariffs on imported barley products.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has offered to discuss trade issues with his Chinese counterpart, he said in an interview with ABC on May 17.

“That offer has not been met at this stage.

Minister Birmingham added that Australia reserves the right to sue China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) if Beijing imposes tariffs on Australian barley products.

Relations between Canberra and Beijing have become tense amid accusations in Australia that China is meddling in the country’s internal affairs, and concerns about what Australia sees as its growing influence.

Australia’s call to investigate the origin of Covid-19 comes amid US President Donald Trump’s increased criticism of China’s response to the pandemic.

Canberra affirmed that calling for an investigation into the Covid-19 pandemic, which the country said most likely originated from a wildlife market in Wuhan city, had no political purpose aimed at Beijing.

Australia is also expected to join other countries pushing for an investigation when the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), meets in Switzerland next week.

The Covid-19 pandemic has so far infected more than 4.6 million people around the world and killed more than 310,000 people, according to Reuters data.

Australia has so far been successful in controlling the pandemic thanks to quick, strict but also economically damaging social distancing measures and widespread testing.

Australia, with a population of 25 million people, has recorded 7,036 Covid-19 cases and 98 deaths, much lower than the numbers in North America and Europe.

In the context of gradually decreasing cases, Australia has begun to relax social distancing measures.


According to Reuters

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