China calls for action by Australia amid worsening ties

In this Nov. 17, 2020, photo, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during signing ceremony in Tokyo. On Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, China's foreign ministry has called on Australia to take action to stem worsening relations between the sides. (Kiyoshi Ota/Pool Photo via AP)

BEIJING — China on Wednesday called on Australia to take actions to stem worsening relations between both nations, in the most recent sign that Beijing will provide few if some compromises to solve their disputes.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s comments came the same day that China’s embassy in Canberra delivered a record of 14 areas of debate between the sides where China anticipates Australia to change management, Australian media reported.

Zhao made it apparent China retains Australia responsible for the deterioration in ties, stating that”those started the trouble should end it.”

“I wish to stress the Australian side is conscious of the crux of this decrease of their bilateral relations,” Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing. “We expect the Australian side must do more to enhance the confidence and collaboration and boost the comprehensive strategic partnership between both nations.”

Relations have been strained lately amid Chinese anger over a range of issues, such as Australia’s crackdown on perceived political interference from Beijing, Chinese investments along with also a call for an independent investigation into the roots of this coronavirus pandemic which was initially discovered in China late last year.

China has retaliated largely by excluding Australian exports such as barley, coal, and wine, throwing tens of thousands of dollars of commerce into question.

In a joint announcement, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his Japanese counterpart, Yoshihide Suga, voiced”serious concerns regarding the situation” from the South and East China Seas and”strong resistance” to militarizing contested islands as well as other unsuccessful efforts to alter the status quo, without identifying China — signaling their sensitivity in their main trading partner.