China issues alert warning against travel to Australia: Report
The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued the statement on Friday, saying the alleged attacks came in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.Updated: Jun 06, 2020 08:57 IST
China has issued a travel alert warning its citizens not to travel to Australia due to a significant increase in racist attacks on Chinese and Asian people, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued the statement on Friday, saying the alleged attacks came in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, ABC News reported.
The warning is the latest sign of deteriorating relations between Australia and its largest trading partner after Prime Minister Scott Morrison led calls for an independent probe on the origins of the coronavirus in Wuhan. Australia is the most China-reliant economy in the developed world, leaving it vulnerable to diplomatic blowback.
The warning comes after Australia announced a tough new screening regime on foreign investors seeking to buy sensitive assets as it bids to bolster national security. Telecommunications, energy, technology and defense-manufacturing companies will be included in the zero-dollar threshold for screening.
The changes, intended to be legislated this year and enforced from Jan. 1, will include a new national security test and give the treasurer last-resort powers to force asset sales. Beijing responded with verbal attacks on the conservative government, saying it was doing the bidding of key ally the U.S.
New tariffs on Australian barley and a ban on beef from four meatworks have raised fears in Canberra that the Chinese government is using “economic coercion” in retaliation.
Before Australia’s calls for a probe into the origins of the coronavirus, its diplomatic ties with China were already under stress. The government cited Beijing’s “meddling” into national affairs as a catalyst for its anti-foreign interference laws passed in 2018, the same year it banned Huawei Technologies Co. from helping build its 5G network.