BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson on Tuesday refuted Australia's accusation of so-called "economic coercion", adding that politicians should not make political maneuvers over the origin of the novel coronavirus.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne made such an accusation after Chinese ambassador to Australia Cheng Jingye said Monday that the idea of an independent inquiry into the origins of the virus called for by Australia is ill-received among the Chinese public. Cheng said what Australia is doing may make the Chinese public think twice about traveling or studying in Australia, or purchasing Australian goods.
China has always insisted on developing friendly and cooperative relations with other countries on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment, said spokesman Geng Shuang told a press briefing, adding that Cheng expressed his concern that certain wrong actions by Australia lately have aroused the dissatisfaction of the Chinese people.
Identifying the origin of the novel coronavirus is a scientific matter that should be the subject of study for scientists and professionals, he said. "Politicians should not make arbitrary remarks on this issue, nor should they make political maneuvers over the matter."
Geng said as the COVID-19 pandemic has had a comprehensive impact on the world economy, China is ready to strengthen cooperation with other countries and provide help to contribute to the health and well-being of all mankind.
"We also hope that other countries will work with China to do more for enhancing international cooperation and mutual trust, instead of saying one thing and doing another," he added. Enditem