Treasurer Josh Frydenberg criticises China over ‘unwanted, unjustified’ attack on Peter Dutton
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has hit out at China over its “unwanted, unjustified” criticism of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
A spokesperson from the Chinese embassy in Canberra attacked Mr Dutton after he pushed for more transparency about the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak, accusing him of acting as a US mouthpiece.
It comes after Mr Dutton last week cited comments from US officials indicating they had “documentation” which showed how the virus had spread.
US President Donald Trump says American intelligence officials are investigating whether the virus could have originated in a Chinese laboratory.
China denies allegations the virus came from a lab, and US president has not produced any evidence to support the suggestion.
Mr Frydenberg said the statements about Mr Dutton out of the Chinese embassy were categorically untrue.
“Those comments did not reflect the facts,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.
But Mr Frydenberg stressed the dispute will not affect Australian economic policy.
“We’ll continue our good economic relationship with China, many Australian jobs depend on that,” he said.
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Image (Frydenberg): Rohan Thomson / Stringer