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Deborah Knight confronts Labor leader over soft response to China

The Australian Labor Party is facing criticism over their diplomatic approach to Australia-China relations.

Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon has vocally criticised the government’s lack of sensitivity in pushing for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19.

Deborah Knight confronted Senate Labor leader and shadow foreign affairs minister Penny Wong over her party’s stance, pointing out China’s Foreign Ministry’s latest name-calling.

“Is that really how you deal with a country like China who, frankly, is bullying Australia?

“That language is pretty clear.”

Ms Wong condemned China’s comments, and said the language is “not accurate and not helpful”.

She admitted deeper differences between the two nations “have become quite clear”, and need to be “managed”.

“Australia always has to, and always will … assert our national interests and our values.

“We have to be clear with all countries, including China, we do want a productive relationship with you … in which Australian interests and values are respected.”

Deborah pushed back, asking if that stance is sufficient.

“When they bring down those trade sanctions, when they punish Australia … we’ve got to surely do more there.

“We’re being hurt!”

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Image: Getty