The Australian government’s call for China to explain its bungled handling of the deadly coronavirus pandemic could spark a boycott by Chinese consumers, who may no longer travel and study in Australia or buy major exports including beef and wine.
“I think in the long term… if the mood is going from bad to worse, people would think ‘Why should we go to such a country that is not so friendly to China? The tourists may have second thoughts’,” Ambassador Cheng Jingye said.
“The parents of the students would also think whether this place which they found is not so friendly, even hostile, whether this is the best place to send our kids.”
Sky News reports the government however is not backing down from the call for an independent inquiry, with Foreign Minister Marise Payne criticising the threat of an economic hit due to the push.
"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," she said.
“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.”
Australia has been warned by the Chinese ambassador that it could face an economic hit if it does not back down from a push into the nation’s handling of the coronavirus. https://t.co/A6NVi0axjz— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) April 27, 2020
In an exclusive interview with @FinancialReview, PRC Ambassador Cheng Jingye warns the @ScottMorrisonMP government that pursuit of an independent inquiry into the #coronavirus pandemic could spark a "Chinese consumer boycott" of Australia - @andrewtillett https://t.co/7PG0ZkwZwU— Indonesia Australia (@IndonesiaAust) April 26, 2020