URGENT: China’s communication freeze with Australia sends a ‘worrying message about its intent’

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Liberal Senator James Paterson has told Sky News his “honest hope is no country – China included – will oppose” the motion for an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19 set to be voted on at the World Health Assembly.

The Australian government believes China will not oppose a resolution on an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus ahead of a meeting of the World Health Assembly on Tuesday.

The push from the global coalition of 62 nations as well as the European Union has been outlined in a draft resolution which will put to the floor of the assembly on May 19.

“It shows that Australia has been right to lead the call on this,” Mr Paterson said

“There is no one who could argue for a moment that Australia is alone”.

Mr Paterson told Sky News host Paul Murray it would be “bizarre for anyone to oppose” the motion, and noted the amount nations who have publicly supported the move is not only a “very significant number of countries, but a very broad range of countries.

In light of trade tensions between Australia and China amid Australia’s leadership in calling for the inquiry, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham on Sunday confirmed a contact freeze between the Australian government and Chinese trade officials.

Mr Patterson said it would be a “concern” if Australia could not get in contact with its trading partners to discuss the issues at play.

“It does send a worrying signal about their intent”.

Image: AP

 

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