(Apr 30): Several months ago, senior Australian Ministers stood beside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a Sydney conference and smiled in support as the latter warned, “You can sell your soul for a pile of soybeans or you can protect your people,” in response to a question about trade with China.

This week, Chinese Ambassador to Australia Cheng Jingye pondered: “The Chinese public is frustrated, dismayed and disappointed with what Australia is doing now. I think in the long term... if the mood is going from bad to worse, people would think, why should we go to such a country that is not so friendly to China? The tourists may have second thoughts. The parents of the students would also think whether this place which they found is not so friendly — even hostile — whether this is the best place to send their kids here. It is up to the people to decide. Maybe the ordinary people will say: Why should we drink Australian wine? Eat Australian beef?’’

This was immediately labelled “Chinese retaliation”.

To continue reading,

Sign in to access this Premium article.

Subscription entitlements:

Less than $9 per month
3 Simultaneous logins across all devices
Unlimited access to latest and premium articles
Bonus unlimited access to online articles and virtual newspaper on The Edge Malaysia (single login)

Stay updated with Singapore corporate news stories for FREE

Follow our Telegram | Facebook