Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that he would not be intimidated or give into coercion when asked on Thursday whether Australia would keep taking hits on exports from major trading partner China, reported the South China Morning Post.
Diplomatic tensions between China and Australia have worsened after Canberra called for an international inquiry into the source and spread of the coronavirus, angering Beijing.
China has in recent weeks banned Australian beef imports and imposed tariffs on Australian barley. On Tuesday, China’s Ministry of Education said students should reconsider choosing to study in Australia, threatening Australia’s fourth-largest export industry, international education, worth A$38 billion ($26 billion) annually.
“We are an open-trading nation, mate, but I’m never going to trade our values in response to coercion from wherever it comes,” Morrison told radio station 2GB on Thursday.