BEIJING, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday urged the Australian side to squarely face the crux of the current setback in bilateral ties, and do more to enhance mutual trust and promote cooperation between the two countries.
The fundamental reason for the sharp decline in China-Australia ties was that certain people in Australia stuck to Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice, regarded China's development as a threat, and spoke ill of the country in addition to acting improperly against it, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian at a daily news briefing when asked to comment on relations between China and Australia.
The Australian side blatantly violated the basic norms of international relations, repeatedly spoke and acted out of turn on issues concerning China's core interests like Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan, Zhao said, adding that all this amounted to gross interference in China's internal affairs and seriously hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.
"Some people in Australia slandered and accused China of engaging in the so-called 'intervention and infiltration activities' in Australia without any evidence, and they sought to politicize, stigmatize and create barriers against normal exchanges and cooperation between the two countries," Zhao said.
He also criticized Australia for political manipulation of the COVID-19 epidemic.
"These practices have seriously damaged mutual trust between the two countries, poisoned bilateral ties, and reduced the developing momentum of China-Australia relations," the spokesperson said.
Zhao noted that many people in Australia are calling for the Australian government to adopt a rational and fair stance in handling relations with China.
"The Australian side should face this squarely and rethink seriously, instead of making unfounded counter-allegations and shifting blame," he said.
China always develops ties with other countries in accordance with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence which include non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. China will consistently follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and respect the development path chosen by other countries based on its own national conditions, the spokesperson said.
He said China did not want to see the current strains in ties and is not responsible for the situation.
"The Australian side should face up to the crux of the setback in bilateral relations squarely, look at China and China's development objectively and rationally, handle bilateral relations in accordance with the principles of mutual respect and equal treatment, and do more things conducive to enhancing mutual trust and promoting practical cooperation between the two countries," Zhao said. Enditem