Coalition of 116 countries back Australia's push for independent coronavirus inquiry

The level of coronavirus incidence continues increasing       TASS

The level of coronavirus incidence continues increasing TASS

Australia's trade minister Simon Birmingham warned on Sunday that Australian businesses could be encouraged to pursue a diversification strategy as China's "unpredictable regulatory interventions" have created additional risks for trade.

India has reportedly joined a global coalition of 62-nations to back Australia's call for an independent inquiry into the coronavirus in a draft resolution to put to the World Health Assembly (WHA) on May 19, 2020.

The Australian government seems more interested in exploiting China's suspension of some beef imports and its potential imposition of tariffs on Australian barley to describe itself as a victim of trade sanctions.

Mr Littleproud said his Chinese counterpart had indicated he would not discuss trade issues in the near future.

It sparked diplomatic and trade backlash from China.

Birmingham stated though Australia is open for dialogue and authorities to authorities communication continues to be occurring, China is but to accommodate his request for a name with his counterpart.

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People wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus.

He said the government has lodged a comprehensive response to China's 18-month investigation into barley dumping, rejecting the suggestion that the Australian industry is subsidised.

"The idea that somehow the payments that the Australian government makes to upgrade irrigation infrastructure in the Murray-Darling Basin in any way impacts on barley prices in China, just doesn't stand the test of any analysis", the minister said. "It's not coming out of the irrigated areas of the Murray-Darling Basin".

Mr Canavan said China's reported decision not to oppose the inquiry "should be a routine course of action after a major health crisis".

Sources said the language was strong enough to ensure that a proper and thorough investigation took place, although they are still calling this a "first step" towards ensuring transparency.

Australia isn't ruling out taking China to the World Trade Organisation over the 80 per cent tariff on barley.

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"I think everyone would be of the view that if we want to prevent this from happening again, we do need to learn lessons", she told The AM Show host Ryan Bridge.

China is Australia's number one trading partner, but Birmingham said it was up to businesses to determine who they sell their goods and services to.

Speaking at the G20 virtual summit in March, Modi had said that the United Nations health agency needed to be empowered because it did not presently have the mandate to deal with a global pandemic like Covid-19.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office told the Herald Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield would "represent New Zealand's interests (virtually) tomorrow".

But China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi lashed out at foreign lawmakers for politicising the pandemic.

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