IT’S YOUR FAULT: China lashes out at ‘bullying’ Australia

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·News Reporter
·3-min read
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Australia's stalemate with China over badly-damaged ties continues with Beijing once again refusing to shoulder any blame for the fallout and brandishing Canberra as "bullies".

In a particularly barbed response, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin hit out over remarks from Treasurer Josh Frydenberg who envisaged further difficulties with China.

In an address in Canberra on Monday, he encouraged Australian businesses to venture elsewhere, ensuring less reliance on the Asian powerhouse.

"It is no secret that China has recently sought to target Australia's economy," Mr Frydenberg said.

Yet Mr Wang refuted Mr Frydenberg's claims, stressing Australia has "benefited immensely" from China and it was in fact Canberra that had acted unfairly to stifle China's economic interests.

Wang Wenbin did not hold back in response to Josh Frydenberg's remarks. Source: FMPRC
Wang Wenbin did not hold back in response to Josh Frydenberg's remarks. Source: FMPRC

"The label of so-called "economic coercion" can never be pinned on to China," he said.

"Instead, it is Australia that stands guilty of the following. It has taken measures against market principles and even bullying acts, and imposed restrictions on normal exchanges and cooperation between the two countries without cause."

Bad relationship 'entirely' Australia's fault, China says

Mr Wang said Australia had routinely played the victim yet it was Canberra who continued to "grossly interfere" with China's internal affairs.

"The current difficulties in China-Australia relations are entirely of Australia's own making."

Mr Wang once again warned Australia should do more to repair relations, stressing Canberra must "abandon the Cold War mentality".

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Yet Prime Minister Scott Morrison has routinely stood his ground, insisting his government has acted in the interests of national sovereignty and will not be making any concessions demanded by China.

Beijing has been particularly angered by Canberra's move to restrict Chinese investment in Australia partly on the grounds of national security, including the introduction of laws that allowed for the federal government to veto dealings made with foreign states, largely seen as a move targeting China.

Australia has also voiced its concerns over the treatment of Uyghurs and Muslim minorities in Xinjiang as well as the introduction of national security laws in Hong Kong and Beijing's attempts to "reunify" Taiwan.

Amid an ugly war-of-words in the past two years, China has slapped several of Australia's main exports to China with sanctions, including barley, beef and wine. 

While China denies all moves were justified and above board, they are largely believed to be retaliation towards Australia, with Canberra seeking support from the World Trade Organization.

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