China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday that Australia's call for an independent probe into the coronavirus epidemic was political maneuvering and that the country should end its ideological bias.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also told reporters during a briefing that China has no wildlife wet markets, responding to a question about United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's comments calling for China to close all wildlife wet markets in the country.
On Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison sought support for an international investigation into the coronavirus pandemic in phone calls with U.S. President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron overnight.
Australia's push for an independent review of the origins and spread of the pandemic, including the response of the World Health Organization (WHO), has drawn sharp criticism from China, which has accused Australian lawmakers of taking instructions from the U.S.
China's embassy in Canberra said in a statement late Tuesday that Australian lawmakers were acting as the mouthpiece of Trump and "certain Australian politicians are keen to parrot what those Americans have asserted and simply follow them in staging political attacks on China."
Ties between Australia and China have soured in recent years, with Canberra the first government to exclude telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies from its 5G network.
Still, China is Australia's largest trading partner, buying more than one-third of the country’s total exports, particularly iron ore and coal.