Australian leader tasks China with transparency

In this Sunday, April 12, 2020, photo, a worker examines a mask produced in a clean room production line for masks at the Wuhan Zonsen Medical Products Co. Ltd. in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province. China won't restrict exports of medical goods needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic, a government spokesman said Thursday, April 16, 2020, amid global tension over scarce masks and ventilators.

An Australian government minister has called on China to be transparent about the origins of the coronavirus and predicted the world will rethink relations with Australia’s most important trading partner because of the pandemic.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton recently recovered from COVID-19 which he apparently contracted during a trip to Washington D.C.

Dutton told Nine Network on Friday: “I do think there will be a reset about the way in which the world interacts with China. We do want more transparency.”

Chinese interference in other countries and involvement in cyber spying “need to, I think, be looked at again,” Dutton said.

“When you’ve got a communist party that doesn’t have the transparency that other comparable economies have, then that is a problem,” Dutton said.

Dutton’s call for transparency comes after U.S. officials revealed intelligence agencies were assessing whether the respiratory virus escaped from a biological laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic began.

“Hopefully you can have China answering these questions that are reasonably put and people can have more confidence,” Dutton said.

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