Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. Source: Kyodo
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  • Diplomatic relations between Australia and its biggest export market China are continuing to deteriorate, with a spokesperson for the Chinese government once again laying the blame at Australia’s feet
  • Tensions between the two countries began to increase earlier this year, after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent inquiry into the source of the novel coronavirus strain, sparking a fierce rebuke from Beijing
  • During a press conference on Thursday, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s foreign affairs ministry, said “the root cause for the deteriorating China-Australia relations is Australia’s repeated wrong acts and remarks on issues concerning China’s core interests”
  • In response, Morrison told reporters that Australia is not seeking to make an enemy of any country, least of all China
  • Meanwhile, Australian goods such as coal, seafood and grain are continuing to to be sanctioned by Chinese importers, despite Trade Minister Simon Birmingham attempting multiple times to contact his counterpart in China

Diplomatic relations between Australia and its biggest export market China are continuing to spiral downwards.

During a press conference on Thursday, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s foreign affairs ministry, once again laid the blame for the two countries’ deteriorating relationship at Australia’s feet.

“We have said many times that the root cause for the deteriorating China-Australia relations is Australia’s repeated wrong acts and remarks on issues concerning China’s core interests,” he said.

Zhao Lijian’s comments follow similar remarks from a Canberra-based Chinese diplomat, earlier this week. The anonymous diplomat recently leaked a list of more than a dozen grievances against Australia Federal Government to the media.

Notably, the list included Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s calls for an independent investigation into origin of COVID-19.

Responding to Zhao’s latest comments, Scott Morrison recently told reporters that “Australia is not seeking to make an enemy of any country, least of all I’d say China.”

“These are things that are fundamental to who we are as a country and if that is the cause of tension with China, then clearly Australia being Australia cannot be considered a point of tension,” Morrison added.

Meanwhile, trade difficulties continue to stop Australian goods such as coal, seafood and grain from entering China.

The Chinese government has yet to provide an official reason for the new sanctions on Australian goods, despite Trade Minister Simon Birmingham attempting multiple times to contact his Chinese counterpart.

As Australia’s largest export market by a large margin, continuing troubles with China are likely to have widespread effects, unless the two countries can regain their previously amiable relationship.

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