A senior Chinese embassy official has warned Canberra of a total boycott by its ministers in Beijing if Australia continues to see China as a "threat" and not as an "opportunity". According to The Guardian, the Chinese official, while speaking on condition of anonymity, said that ministers in Beijing won't answer phone calls from their Australian counterparts unless Canberra amends its view of China.
Ministerial-level talks between Chinese and Australian officials have remained ceased since early this year over a broad range of issues, including Beijing's alleged meddling in Canberra's internal affairs and Australia's stand on Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests.
The official reportedly blamed Australia for deteriorating relations between both sides and urged the Morrison government to discard its Cold-War mentality in order to see China as an "opportunity" and not a "threat".
Relations between Australia and China have suffered major blows in the recent past but particularly soured after Canberra called for an independent inquiry into the COVID-19 outbreak that originated from Wuhan later in 2019 and subsequently spread across the world. China, which is Australia's largest trading partner responded by targetting billions of dollars worth of Australian exports.
China had recently said Australia should know what it needs to do to improve the relationship, adding Beijing has always upheld a pragmatic attitude when it comes to dealing with its trade partners. The Chinese side also defended its measures against Australian products, saying more than 10 Chinese investments have been rejected by Canberra citing "ambiguous and unfounded national security concerns".