A chorus of American allies are calling for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, braving China’s anger in public disputes that could foreshadow closer Western partnerships against Beijing.

“You’re seeing a consensus among America’s closest allies that values and national security interests, with regard to the relationship with China, now trumps economics,” former Australian defense ministry adviser Patrick Buchan told the Washington Examiner.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has provided the most dramatic demonstration of that development in recent days by calling for an investigation into the emergence of the pandemic as well as the World Health Organization’s much-maligned response to the burgeoning crisis. Chinese officials tried to strangle that idea with economic threats, but Australian officials have refused to change course, to the delight of U.S. officials.

“There’s a global recognition that China is responsible for this crisis, wasn’t transparent, and that not getting to the bottom of this could lead to future pandemics,” the Atlantic Council’s Matthew Kroenig, author of a new bookThe Return of Great Power Rivalry, told the Washington Examiner.

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Chinese Communist officials have gone apoplectic. The editor of a state-run media outlet likened Australia to “chewing gum stuck on the sole of China’s shoes,” while Beijing’s top diplomat in Canberra issued a thinly veiled threat of economic retaliation against what the Chinese deem a “politically motivated” call for investigation.

“If the mood is going from bad to worse, people would think why we should go to such a country while it’s not so friendly to China,” Chinese Ambassador Cheng Jingye told the Australian Financial Review this week. “And also, maybe the ordinary people will think why they should drink Australian wine or eat Australian beef. Why couldn’t we do it differently?”

China’s threats against Australia haven’t deterred other nations from taking similar steps.

“When the global situation of Covid-19 is under control, it is both reasonable and important that an international, independent investigation be conducted to gain knowledge about the origin and spread of the coronavirus,” Swedish Health Minister Lena Hallengren wrote in a Wednesday message to her parliament. “It is also important that the entire international community’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the World Health Organization, is investigated.”

That flouting of Chinese threats extends beyond the coronavirus issue, as the Netherlands revealed by changing the name of its de facto embassy in Taiwan in a way that reflects its expanding partnerships with the self-ruled island. Chinese Communist officials, who regard the island as a renegade province subject to Beijing’s authority, reacted angrily to the move. Chinese state-run media responded by warning that the decision might inspire “Chinese companies to immediately stop exporting medical supplies to the country.”

Such disputes bode well for U.S. efforts to rally “an alliance of democracies” against threats emanating from the Chinese Communist Party, analysts say, despite other controversies that have rocked U.S. relationships with some allies.

“This is a good sign that we’re seeing a number of key democratic allies in Europe and Asia with a pretty unified voice saying, ‘China is a problem, we need more information, and [to not be] intimidated by China’s heavy-handed response,’” Kroenig said.

The controversies dovetail with President Trump’s criticisms of both China and the WHO, causing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to renew his call for investigations and tout the superiority of democratic systems of governance over the Chinese regime.

“The solution to this crisis will come from freedom-loving people around the world,” Pompeo told reporters Wednesday, citing freedom of speech in democratic societies. “Authoritarian regimes are poorly designed to deal with the kind of crisis that this pandemic has engendered.”

In the meantime, Chinese officials went so far as to publish in an unflattering way the details of a private conversation between Cheng and one of Australia’s top diplomats, which the Australian Foreign Affairs Ministry condemned as an unusual violation of “the long-standing diplomatic courtesies and professional practices” that govern diplomatic exchanges.

“Australia is no more going to change our policy position on a major public health issue because of economic coercion or threats of coercion, than we would change our policy position in matters of national security,” Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said.

Australia’s defiance reflects a sea change in domestic public opinion in recent years, which the coronavirus pandemic intensified. “Morrison is under such domestic political pressure from the Australian people, who are now pushing back so hard against China,” explained Buchan, who leads the U.S. Alliances Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “He’s got to come up with something that feeds that sentiment.”

8 thoughts on “US allies move toward Trump, demanding coronavirus investigation despite Chinese threats”
  1. I like the thought but with UN moving left, a la putting them on the human rights council kind of tells me nothing will be done by the NWO crew.

  2. Forever the Mafia is a Communist Dictatorship and what would the Mofia do threaten anyone who tried to make them accountable, CHINA. The same with Russia, no longer a active Communist organized crime syndicate it is just a Mafia in control also. Airborne

  3. good about time Australia got a backbone,i think there are more Chinese in Australia than Australians,nows the time to get rid of a few who do they think they are trying to threaten everyone,i would like to see Australia stop all the phony Chinese students ,since this has happened I buy nothing made in china nor do my family,we check everything

  4. China is most definitely guilty of the Covid-19 pandemic the question is was it intentional. Seems to me we see more and more serious illnesses come from China each year. Don’t get me wrong, I have many Chinese friends and they are wonderful people but they will be the first to tell you the government is evil. All of the surrounding nations will tell you they worship the Devil. They are looking at viruses to cripple the world. I also know the Democrats are involved in this pandemic. Obama was using American money to fund these labs in wuhan. Dementia Joe has ties to China as do all the rest. They scream Russian collusion while colluding with China to kill people and kill the economy. Think they won’t kill for power? Hillary and Benghazi are proof that lives mean nothing to them. Let’s stop them in their tracks. The new breed Democrats are dangerous to keep around. Give them all the pink slip! Vote Trump/Pence this fall and let’s take back the House and Senate. MAGA 2020

  5. A least the Australian government is supported by its citizens. The democrats have people siding with China who is using it as a defense. Democrats should be ashamed of theirselves for not supporting the people they claim to want to help. Shows how much our country has fallen because of them. They would be happy to hand America over to China if it means getting rid of Trump. Should we say China, China, China.

  6. Now there should be a fulkl impartial investigation made up of disease experts from all countries involved, and with an impartial moderator of the actual investigation.. Now to just voice opinions on something so serious as theis pandemic has become World Wide, it should be a World Wide investigation.

  7. Now is the time to aggressively confront China and its bullying tactics. Those countries willing to sell their souls and national security to China through their “Silk and Belt” road got caught in their cobweb and now tooooo haaaard to disentangle it or dismantle it. Now comes with their Huawei 5G technology and their other technological advantage against any county, these are China’s internal security lifelines to know and to wrap-up their ultimate agenda in velcroing that country for good. They can shut these communication links anytime they want to send a lesson or take control of these countries’ social, economic, financial, military and anything they want to take over. Your freedom, democracy and liberty ends when China takes control of any country.

  8. China will definitely threaten with veiled hints, then hard threats, then high seas harassment, then bluff. Will the “capitalist imperialist reactionaries’ gang” stick together? Well, they don’t have much to lose. But China’s income is at risk. Don’t ever forget that China is run by it’s Communist Party.

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