The Chinese government is using its influence to coerce nations into obedience in exchange for “goodies” they can use to protect themselves from the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Australian’s Greg Sheridan.
In recent weeks China – primarily through its Ambassador to Australia Jingye Cheng – has bristled at Australia’s call for an independent global investigation into the origins of the virus.
The Ambassador first threatened a potential consumer boycott on Australian exports, and then on Tuesday leaked a private conversation with Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Frances Adamson.
The Ambassador claimed Secretary Adamson said an inquiry would not occur while the pandemic continues, but Mr Sheridan warned Australia should not “take the Chinese evaluation of our policy as reality”.
He told Sky News host Peta Credlin the Chinese Ambassador’s actions highlights the “newly belligerent Beijing which we’re seeing from their diplomats all over the world”.
“If you don’t obey then you’ll suffer some penalties, and that’s really what they’ve been saying to Australia,” Mr Sheridan said.