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Trade Minister reacts to China’s fear and paranoia ‘name-calling’

Australia’s Trade Minister has hit back at the latest threat to the strained relations between Australia and China.

Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham, has rejected China’s Foreign Ministry claim that Australia is infected by fear and paranoia, amid concerns over the high-profile Australian journalist Cheng Lei being detained in Beijing.

Mr Birmingham told Deborah Knight the accusations are “not true at all”, however he admits China still won’t answer his calls to have “mature discussions and dialogue”.

“Of course we stand in protection of our values, of our security, of our strategic interests, and we don’t apologise or step away from that.

“But we certainly won’t be engaging in that type of tit-for-tat name calling.”

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Image: Getty