Liberal Senator James Paterson says China’s ambassador Cheng Jingye has made “wild threats” towards Australia but has ultimately “utterly failed” in deterring Australia’s push in pursuing an independent inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic.
China on Monday evening announced it would follow through on a threat to slap an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley in a move that inflamed trade tensions between the two nations.
Beijing claimed the tariffs had nothing to do with Canberra’s push for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19 and instead said they were due to concerns Australian farmers were dumping barley in their market below market value.
“I Imagine his masters in Beijing are very unhappy with his performance,” Mr Paterson told Sky News host Andrew Bolt.
“He won’t be looking forward to his next return trip to Beijing and no wonder why,” he said.