Beijing said the prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand had made irresponsible comments about China. Relations between China and the two island nations have already been strained, but what happened on Monday shows that their diplomatic relations could deteriorate further.
Prime Ministers of the two countries, Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern, issued a joint statement on Monday condemning China’s efforts to destabilize the South China Sea, expressing grave concern over the situation of Uyghurs in Xinjiang and the restriction of Hong Kong’s freedoms.
In response, China’s Foreign Ministry said it was firmly opposed to the joint statement and said the two leaders had greatly interfered in China’s internal affairs. Ministry spokesman Fang Fengping said the two heads of government made baseless allegations against China and seriously violated international law and basic norms governing international relations.
He also said that Beijing will not hesitate to respond and all attempts at external influence will be thwarted.
As the Guardian writes,It is becoming increasingly difficult for both Australia and New Zealand to deal with China: the country is a major trading partner on the one hand, and both are allies of the United States, and the relationship between Beijing and Washington is increasingly strained.
China froze high-level bilateral talks with Australia earlier last year when the Morrison government urged international investigations into the origins of the coronavirus and Beijing also imposed trade sanctions on the country. In comparison, New Zealand recently renewed its trade agreement with China, but the leaders of the two countries have now emphasized that despite these differences, what unites their positions is more important.