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The Debate

Don't mess with Beijing: Pushback over Covid fuels China-Australia row

THE DEBATE
THE DEBATE © France 24
By: François PICARD Follow | Alessandro XENOS | Juliette LAURAIN
44 min

How did we go from calls to research the origins of Covid-19, to China's call to boycott Australian wine? Relations between Beijing and Canberra started to go south back in May when Australia demanded an independent probe into the origins of the pandemic. Now, on the week of the first anniversary of the first documented Covid-19 case in Wuhan, ties have soured further after a senior Chinese official posted a fake image of an Australian soldier holding a bloodied knife to the throat of an Afghan child, prompting Australian Prime Minister Morrison to demand an apology from Beijing.

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Was it fair game for China to allude to alleged abuses by Australian special forces in Afghanistan?

More broadly, what to make of Beijing’s wolf warrior diplomacy - and not just against Australia? To this day, an independent team from the World Health Organization is still barred from going on a fact-finding mission to China. Under these conditions, can Xi Jinping stake his claim as the emerging go-to global leader while still insisting on controlling all the information that circulates in and about his country?

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.

 

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