Australia rejects China's threat of 'economic repression' over corona virus probe
Australia has vowed to continue its investigation into the coronavirus epidemic despite China's opposition, with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Peine warning of "economic repression".
"The Chinese people can ignore Australian products and universities," Cheng Jingye, the Chinese ambassador to Australia, told a newspaper, according to Reuters.
Australia last week called on all WHO members to independently review the creation and spread of the coronavirus, but the Chinese Foreign Ministry rejected the offer.
"Maybe the general public will ask why we drink Australian wine or why we eat Australian beef," said Cheng Jingye.
"It is possible that tourists will think twice before coming to Australia," he said.
"Parents of students will also consider whether this is the best place to send their children," he said.
After energy exports, education and tourism are Australia's largest export industries, with China being the largest market.
Australian Foreign Minister Marisse said in a statement that Australia had "in principle" demanded an independent review of the coronavirus epidemic that had spread from the Chinese city of Wuhan.
"We reject the proposal for economic repression on such a demand and we need international cooperation at this time," he said.
He said an "honest diagnosis" of the epidemic would strengthen the role of the World Health Organization.
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