‘Their bark is worse than their bite’: Australia should call China’s bluff
China’s ambassador to Australia has threatened an economic retaliation in the form of a people-led boycott of Australian goods and services if Australia continues to support an independent inquiry into the source of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Beijing doubled down on the rhetoric in an opinion piece published in the Communist Party’s mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, which accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of pandering to Washington by trying to blame China for the spread of the virus.
China watcher and Lowy Institute fellow Richard McGregor tells Brooke Corte that China has a long history of slapping economic sanctions on other countries but questions whether it’s in their interest to follow through this time around.
“In general, their bark is worst than their bite,” Mr McGregor said.
“They don’t want to harm their own economy and they don’t want to overly disrupt trade,”
However, COVID-19 is a crisis like none that have come before, and the geopolitical ramifications are stoking tensions between nations prone to adversarial flare-ups.
“It’s definitely possible, I would say particularly in tourism and the education market, that there could be some impact,” Mr McGregor said.
Click PLAY to hear the full interview between Brooke Corte and Richard McGregor: