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Scott Morrison accused of failed diplomacy with China

Shadow agriculture minister Joel Fitzgibbon has accused the federal government of jumping the gun by pushing for an inquiry into China’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

He claimed the government had failed to consult the international community before instigating calls for an investigation, and argues Australia’s relationship with China had broken down long before COVID-19.

“We just don’t have an official relationship with China anymore,” Mr Fitzgibbon told Deborah Knight.

“[China] is our biggest trading partner … and when something goes wrong now – a coal shipment can’t get in, or whatever it might be – we don’t pick up the phone.

“I mean, JFK and Khrushchev had a better dialogue than do Scott Morrison and Xi Jinping.

“We’ve got to stop this megaphone diplomacy.”

Energy Minister Angus Taylor retaliated, calling the push for an independent inquiry “a principled approach”.

“That is just not right.

“I think the global community fully understands that we need to understand where [COVID-19] has come from, and make sure it is never repeated.”

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Image: Nine News