File photo: Agencies
CANBERRA, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The Australia China Friendship Society Ltd (ACFS) sent a letter to Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia, calling on politicians to mend the relationship between Australia and China.
"The Australia China Friendship Society Ltd calls for an urgent change in the attitude and behaviour of Australian politicians before further and devastating damage is done to Australia and to our relationship with China," said the letter.
According to the ACFS, directors and delegates from around Australia met via teleconference to attend its Annual General Meeting late last month, when they expressed their views and reiterated that the current attitude of the Australian government does not represent the views of many Australian citizens.
"Most of the statements and behaviour of Australian politicians (from all three major parties) are contrary to Australia's national interest, in that they appear to go out of their way to insult a country with which we have built a strong friendship over a number of decades," said ACFS. "China and Australia matter to each other."
"We view with concern the recent comments by you and other members of the Coalition parliamentary team which quite clearly point the finger of blame at China for its alleged 'cover-up' and failure to act promptly in the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic," it said in the letter to Morrison.
"Apart from the dubious and misrepresented scientific basis upon which your government's remarks are founded, there are further risks posed by the government's intemperate and poorly-judged statements," it continued.
"China is not only Australia's largest trading partner by a considerable margin, it is also the largest source of foreign students, the largest source of foreign tourists, and the ninth-largest source of foreign investment."
The ACFS was established in 1951 with a long history in promoting friendship between Australia and China.
Robin Matthews, national president of ACFS, said that the coronavirus has provided an opportunity "for unscrupulous people to spread mistruths and fear and this should be condemned."
"Any misinformation should be challenged and called out for what it is -- racism," she said. "We wish for and promote a peaceful and harmonious relationship with our neighbors and reject aggressive political posturing that threatens the peace of our region."
She told Xinhua via telephone that they have not received any reply from the Australian government yet.