China’s ambassador warns of potentially severe economic consequences if Australia doesn’t back down from launching a coronavirus inquiry.
Cheng Jingye said Australia’s behaviour is “dangerous” and would encourage a potential Chinese boycott.
Australian government officials have condemned the threat.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne says,
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.
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.”
More to follow.