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Peter Dutton responds to Chinese ambassador’s accusations of ‘ignorance and bigotry’

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Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has responded to the Chinese Ambassador to Australia’s accusations of “ignorance and bigotry”, after he called for greater transparency.

Mr Dutton supported Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s call for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19, but the idea hasn’t been greeted favourably by the Chinese government.

“Obviously [Mr Dutton] must have also received some instructions from Washington requiring him to cooperate with the US in its propaganda war against China,” the Ambassador told state media this week.

“These days, certain Australian politicians are keen to parrot what those Americans have asserted and simply follow them in staging political attacks on China.”

Mr Dutton told Ray Hadley the comments are “regrettable, to say the least.”

The Home Affairs Minister says he has “zero tolerance” for discrimination against Australians of Asian extraction, but defended his and the Australian government’s criticism of China’s handling of the crisis.

“My problem is with the Communist Party of China. They’re not a transparent government.

“There’s a lot of questions that the world is rightly asking about what has happened in Wuhan.

“We can’t allow this pandemic to happen again.”

Australians should beware of cyber attacks from foreign governments, Mr Dutton warned, telling Ray there are already reports of misinformation campaigns.

“We saw it in the US election as well, where these fake text messages were sent around, purporting to bring a message from the government.

“Again, we need to call that out.”

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