Australia's trade minister says China's commerce leader has not returned his calls
The Chinese leader in charge of commerce, Zhong Shan, has conceded that wet markets in China may not be up to standard, meanwhile, the Australian Trade Ministers attempts to speak with Zhong go unanswered.
At a press conference in Beijing on May 18, Zhong admitted: “In communities, there are wet markets of varying sizes and patchy quality, overall the standards are not very high.”
He said they would “push for their standardisation with an improved environment” and “improved quality.”
When Zhong was questioned on his communications with Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, he said, “We are communicating with each other.”
Birmingham told ABC Insider on May 17, he had made a request to his Chinese counterpart to discuss issues around the proposed barley tariff and the ban on meat imports, however, he was yet to receive a reply.
“That request has not been met with a call being accommodated at this stage,” he said.
“The call ought to be returned,” he said.
The Australian government has stayed firm in its belief that it has no case to answer regarding the Chinese regimes proposed economic actions. However, it will still seek to resolve the disputes via the World Trade Organisation.
The Chinese leaders comments come as pressure builds from within the World Health Organisation (WHO) as over 110 nations supported a motion on May 18 for an investigation into the origins of the virus outbreak.
The motion reportedly calls on the WHOs director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus to initiate at the earliest possible moment an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” of the international response to the pandemic, as well as the WHOs actions.