China has advised its citizens not to visit Australia, noting racial discrimination and violence against Asians there, in what appears to be the latest attempt by Beijing to punish it for calling for an investigation into the Corona virus pandemic.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said Friday evening that "there is an increase in expressions and acts of racial discrimination and acts of violence against the Chinese and Asians in Australia, due to the impact of the Coved 19-pandemic."
"The ministry advises Chinese tourists to increase their awareness of safety and avoid travel to Australia," he added.
China has already halted imports of Australian barley by setting tariffs in excess of 80 percent on the crop, accusing Australia of violating WTO rules by subsidizing barley production and selling the crop in China at less than production costs.
This came a week after China banned the import of beef from the four largest slaughterhouses in Australia because of problems with marking.
Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said on Tuesday that his country did not want a trade war, but said that China had "made mistakes in both facts and law" in applying the WTO rules, adding that there was no evidence that Australia was involved in dumping the market with products.