Australia cannot change its position on holding an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19 just because of pressure from China, according to Nationals backbencher Matt Canavan.
Relations between Australia and China has soured over the past few weeks after the government called for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19.
China has furiously rejected calls for an independent inquiry and warned it could boycott Australia’s education, tourism, and export sectors in retaliation.
The stoush has further strained the relationship which was already in the deep freeze over the Turnbull Government’s decision to ban Huawei from the 5G rollout.
Despite this, China remains Australia’s largest trading partner and accounts for 26 per cent of its trade around the world.
Mr Canavan told Sky News the current situation has shown Australia has a “dependent trade relationship” with China.
“I sure as hell don’t want to trade off our nation’s freedom, our nation’s sovereignty, just to do some trade with another country,” he said.