Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says his country is getting a little too much credit for calling for an investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus pandemic — but “middle powers” like Canada and Australia still need to stand firm against “imperial” bullies like China.
Speaking to News Network’s Power & Politics in an interview airing today, Turnbull said that when his country’s current prime minister, Scott Morrison, called for the investigation in April, China reacted with indignation and the world applauded because everyone misunderstood Australia’s motivations.
“I think the Australian government’s call in this regard was misrepresented or misinterpreted to some extent, because it was conflated with a lot of the rhetoric coming out of the White House which is seeking to, you know, really blame China for the pandemic and zero-in on … alleged cover-ups and so forth in China,” Turnbull told host Vassy Kapelos.
Conservatives have accused the Liberal government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of taking too soft a line with China over its initial response to the outbreak.
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