Beijing said the prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand had made irresponsible remarks about China. Relations between China and the two island states have already soured, but what happened on Monday shows that their diplomatic relations could deteriorate further.
The prime ministers of the two countries, Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern, issued a joint statement Monday condemning China’s efforts to destabilize the South China Sea and expressing grave concern over the situation of Uyghurs in Xinjiang and the restriction of Hong Kong’s freedoms.
In response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it firmly opposes the joint statement and said that the two leaders greatly interfered in China’s internal affairs. Ministry spokesman Fang Fenping said the two heads of government have made baseless allegations against China and have seriously violated international law and the basic norms governing international relations.
He said Beijing will not hesitate to respond and will frustrate all attempts at outside influence.
As the Guardian writesIt 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 they are both allies of the United States, and the relationship between Beijing and Washington is increasingly tense.
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. By comparison, New Zealand recently renewed its trade agreement with China, but leaders of the two countries have now emphasized that despite these differences, what unites their positions is more important.
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