Published on Sunday, June 7, 2020

China warns citizens to avoid Australia

Australia's faltering relationship with China took another turn for the worse with tourism the latest weapon being used by Beijing.

China claims the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increase in racial discrimination and advised people to avoid travelling Down Under.

"There has been an alarming increase recently in acts of racial discrimination and violence against Chinese and Asians in Australia, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic," China's ministry of culture and tourism said.

"We remind Chinese tourists to enhance their safety awareness and do not travel to Australia."

China-Australia ties have been frayed for some time and Beijing imposed heavy tariffs on some Aussie exports.

The Australian Human Rights Commission said 25% of all racial discrimination complaints filed in the last two months were because of Covid-19.

Asian Australian Alliance says it is receiving about a dozen reports a day of racist incidents since early April.

Trade and tourism Minister Simon Birmingham rejected China's claims as having 'no basis in fact' but acknowledged that 'China is the biggest single source of international tourists to Australia.'

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