Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks

Reuters: China has in recent months moved to restrict imports of Australian products such as barley, wine and beef after Australian Prime Minister Morrison led calls for global inquiries into the origins of COVID. But the Prime Minister recently said that the relationship has not broken down entirely and that there is still "great value in the relationship". Do you have any response?

Zhao Lijian: This is what we Chinese call "feigning ignorance". The root cause of the current serious difficulties in China-Australia relations lies in Australia's gross interference in China's internal affairs, impairment of China's interests and unwarranted restrictions on bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields. The responsibility doesn't rest with China at all. The Australian side shouldn't expect to put China off with fine words while it plays innocent and shifts blames on the one side and breaks commitment and undermines cooperation on the other. China always believes that a healthy and stable China-Australia relationship serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples. What is pressing now is for the Australian side to face squarely the root cause of the setbacks in bilateral relations, view China and China's development in an objective and rational way, return to the track of China-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership, and do more to enhance mutual trust and promote practical cooperation between the two countries.


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