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China warns Australia over hostile sentiment

(Global Times)    08:26, April 20, 2018

If Australia considers exchanges between countries as interference, it should lock itself up in the dark room, the Chinese foreign ministry said in response to Australia's anti-China allegations on Thursday.

People who have such a mindset need to reflect, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a daily briefing on Thursday.

If there is no mutual trust, there's no room for cooperation. China hopes Australia takes practical action and corrects its prejudice against China, Hua said.

China's Ambassador to Australia Cheng Jingye also expressed his worries in an interview with The Australian on Thursday.

He warned that the relationship between the two countries has been marred by "systematic, irresponsible and negative remarks" about China, and that trade ties could be damaged if the situation is not repaired.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also said Australia won't step back over the issue of preventing overseas political interference, the Australian Financial Review reported on Thursday.

Australia's high-profile anti-China tone is the result of geopolitical concerns, not economic ones, Gao Cheng, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)' National Institute of International Strategy, told the Global Times.

Australia closely follows US' steps, which is escalating trade tensions with China and spearheading the Indo-Pacific strategy aimed at containing China, Gao said.

According to the 2018 Westpac Australia-China Business Survey, almost 80 percent of more than 160 Australian businesses are optimistic about their operations in China for the next year, Bloomberg reported.

Their confidence comes from a promising Chinese economy. Australian companies cannot be immune to political tensions, Han Feng, professor and deputy director-general at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' National Institute of International Strategy, told the Global Times Thursday.

If Australia continues to stir up anti-China sentiments, it will suffer the consequences. Less Chinese investment in Australia would also make the Australian economy suffer, Gao said. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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