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Australian Effort to Hold China Accountable Receives Support, but the CCP Responds With Threats
Australia’s demand for accountability from China received support from other countries, but the CCP responded by threatening Australia with a boycott. Many countries are demanding reform within the WHO and have called for the CCP to be held accountable for the pandemic. Australia, being one of the most vocal countries, has been threatened by the CCP with a boycott in tourism and foreign trade. The foreign minister of Australia said Monday that he would not submit to the coercion. As of April 27, the number of confirmed cases of the CCP virus in Australia reached 6,714, with 83 deaths. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, and Foreign Minister Marise Payne, recently called for the international community to send independent inspectors into China to investigate the actions taken by the Chinese Communist Party since the outbreak of the virus. Tom Connell, a journalist with Sky News Australia, said: “Yes, it’s a very united push one for a global independent inquiry into COVID-19. Clearly, they have been focused a lot on the role of the WHO and also the role of China. What the Chinese Communist Party knew and when, and what was done to try to suppress the virus. So perhaps, in cases, what was not done.” The Australian Financial Review reported on the 26th that Cheng Jingye, the Chinese ambassador to Australia, said Australia's pursuit of an independent investigation into the coronavirus pandemic was "dangerous" and could spark a boycott of students and tourists visiting Australia, as well as sales of popular agricultural products exports such as beef and wine. However, Australia did not back down. Sky News Australia anchor Laura Jayes said, “The government is not backing down from a push inquiring into China's handling of coronavirus despite the threat from the Chinese ambassador.” On the 27th, Foreign Minister Marise Payne responded to Cheng Jingye, saying that Australia’s call for an independent inquiry into the CCP virus comes at the right time and is a principled call. She added: “This is an unprecedented global crisis that has serious health, economic, and social implications. We reject any suggestion that economic duress is appropriate to respond to calls for such assessments. What we need at this time is global cooperation.” British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also expressed his support for the Australian call for an investigation into the CCP virus outbreak inside China. He said that during this "once-in-a-century" event, the world needs transparency and every government needs to learn the lessons presented by this event.