ネコウヨの散歩

ネコと憂国

豪「感染源の調査が必要」、中国「豪の行動に失望」…対立先鋭化

読売新聞
2020/04/28 21:45
 【ジャカルタ=一言剛之】新型コロナウイルスの感染拡大をめぐり、オーストラリアと中国の対立が先鋭化している。スコット・モリソン豪首相が、感染源などの調査が必要との考えを示したのに対し、中国が強く反発している。
 モリソン氏は先週、コロナウイルスの爆発的感染が中国から世界へ広がった経緯について、「独立した調査が必要だ」と述べた。
 これに対し、駐豪中国大使の成競業(チョンジンイエ)氏は、豪州メディアのインタビューに「国民はオーストラリアの行動にいら立ち、失望している」と語った。さらに、事態が悪化すれば中国で豪州産ワインや牛肉の消費が落ち込み、豪州への旅行客や留学生が減るかもしれないと警告した。
 豪州にとって、中国は輸出額の約3割を占める最大の貿易相手だ。成氏の発言は、経済的報復措置をほのめかしたものとみられる。
 豪ABC放送によると、サイモン・バーミンガム豪貿易相は28日、「重要な保健分野の政策が、経済的な脅しで変えられることはない」と不快感を示した。


Australia called 'gum stuck to China's shoe' by state media in coronavirus investigation stoush
Hu Xijin, editor of Global Times, responds to calls for inquiry into source of Covid-19
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Lily Kuo in Beijing
Tue 28 Apr 2020 08.00 BST Last modified on Tue 28 Apr 2020 10.41 BST


 
 Australian foreign minister Marise Payne has put down ‘any suggestion that economic coercion is an appropriate response’ to Australia’s call for an investigations into the origins of coronavirus, which China opposes. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP
Australia has been described as “gum stuck to the bottom of China’s shoe,” by a Chinese state media editor as Beijing criticised calls for an inquiry into the coronavirus origin as “political manoeuvring,” further straining ties.
Australia has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of Beijing as it calls for an investigation into the origins and spread of the virus, which emerged in China late last year and has now killed more than 200,000 people around the world.
Late on Monday, Hu Xijin, the editor of the state-run Global Times wrote on Weibo that ties between Australia and its largest trading partner, China, were likely to deteriorate as much as relations between Beijing and Washington had.
Criticising Australia for joining the US in its attacks on China, Hu wrote: “After the epidemic, we need to have more risk awareness when doing business with Australia and also when we send our children to study there.”
“Australia is always there, making trouble. It is a bit like chewing gum stuck on the sole of China’s shoes. Sometimes you have to find a stone to rub it off,” Hu said.


Hu’s comments echo that of China’s ambassador to Australia, Jingye Cheng, who told Australian media at the weekend that pushing for an inquiry could result in a boycott of the country’s goods. “Maybe the ordinary people will say ‘Why should we drink Australian wine? Eat Australian beef?’,” Cheng told the Australian Financial Review.
At a briefing on Monday, a spokesman for China’s ministry of foreign affairs, Geng Shuang, described international calls for an inquiry as destined to fail. Without naming Australia specifically, he said: “Some politicians are trying to make political manoeuvres over the origin to smear other countries, but their unpopular attempts will never succeed.”
Geng added: “The urgent task for all countries is focusing on international cooperation rather than pointing fingers, demanding accountability and other non-constructive approaches.”
The origin of the coronavirus has become an increasingly fraught topic as Beijing fights off accusations it is to blame for the pandemic. China has pushed the idea that the virus, first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, may have originated elsewhere, while the US claims it could have leaked from a Chinese lab. In China, all research into the origins of the virus must go through prior vetting as part of a new policy, according to notices seen by the Guardian.
The Chinese embassy in Canberra has responded to reports about the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade raising the investigation of the source of Covid-19 with the ambassador, releasing a statement claiming DFAT has conceded it has no detail on the proposed investigation.
The statement confirmed ambassador Cheng Jingye took a phone call from Dfat secretary Frances Adamson, but said media reports about what was said were incorrect.
“Secretary Adamson tried her best to defend Australia’s proposal about the independent review, saying the proposal neither has political motive nor targets China. She also admitted it is not the time to commence the review now and Australia has no details of the proposal. She further said that Australia does not want the matter to have any impact on Australia-China relationship.
“Ambassador Cheng elaborated clearly China’s relevant position, stressing that no matter what excuses the Australian side has made, the fact can not be buried that the proposal is a political manoeuvre.
“Ambassador Cheng flatly rejected the concern expressed from the Australian side over his remarks during the recent AFR interview, and called on Australia to put aside ideological bias, stop political games and do more thing to promote the bilateral relations.”
The foreign minister, Marise Payne, on Monday put down “any suggestion that economic coercion is an appropriate response to a call for such an assessment”.
The trade minister, Simon Birmingham, added: “Australia is no more going to change our policy position on a major public health issue because of economic coercion or threats of coercion, than we would change our policy position in matters of national security.”
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has called on member nations of the World Health Organization to support an independent inquiry into the origins and spread of the coronavirus. He has said his country will push for an international investigation at the WHO assembly on 17 May.
With Paul Karp