China threatens retaliation over Australia's Covid testing requirement for travellers

The Chinese government has criticized the Australian government's decision to require travelers from China to present negative Covid-19 test results as "unacceptable," "politically motivated," and "discriminatory," and has threatened to take retaliatory measures based on the principle of reciprocity.

China threatens retaliation over Australia's Covid testing requirement for travellers
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Beijing has threatened retaliation over the Australian government’s decision to require travellers from China to provide negative Covid tests.

Australia this week joined a host of other nations including the USA, Italy, Japan and India, in requiring the tests as a new wave of Covid sweeps through China.

But the Chinese government slammed the decision as “unacceptable”, politically motivated and discriminatory.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said the measures “taken against China” were not based in science.

“Some of these measures are disproportionate and simply unacceptable,” she said.

“We firmly reject using COVID measures for political purposes and will take corresponding measures in response to varying situations based on the principle of reciprocity.

“China always believes that for all countries, COVID response measures need to be science-based and proportionate.

“They should not be used for political manipulation, there should not be discriminatory measures against certain countries.”

The World Health Organisation has called on China to provide a “more realistic picture” of its COVID-19 situation with some members of the organisation openly questioning whether China was hiding the true extent of its latest Covid surge.

Dutch virologist and WHO committee member Professor Marion Koopmans accused China of providing hospitalisation numbers that were “not very credible”.

“We want to see a more realistic picture of what is actually going on. It is in the interests of China itself to come forward with more reliable information,” she said.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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