China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said on Tuesday night that the restrictions on Australian beef exporters were due to violations of quarantine and custom standards. Mr Zhao criticised Australia’s pursuit of the coronavirus inquiry for "political reasons".
Senior Chinese media officials in Australia have been targeted and the visas of two leading Chinese scholars have been revoked in an unprecedented foreign interference investigation into a NSW political staffer, provoking a furious response from the Chinese Government.
The man is the first Canberra resident to contract COVID-19, despite an attendee to an university conference and an Australian Defence Force (ADF) member who visited Canberra in late February already testing positive to coronavirus.
A Chinese company with links to Beijing's military and intelligence networks has been amassing a vast database of detailed personal information on thousands of Australians, including prominent and influential figures.