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PM's slap down as China releases Aussie sin list

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PM's slap down as China releases Aussie sin list

Australia is refusing to apologise to China after being accused of poisoning bilateral relations in an incendiary diplomatic briefing.

"The U.S. -China relationship is clearly one that has been through quite a tumultuous period", Minister Birmingham said.

"China is angry. If you make China the enemy, China will be the enemy", an official told Nine News.

"These practices have seriously damaged mutual trust between the two countries, poisoned bilateral ties, and reduced the developing momentum of China-Australia relations", the spokesperson said.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison will be meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday, during which they are likely to sign the defense pact.

Canberra's relations with Beijing have deteriorated after allegations of Chinese interference in Australia's domestic politics and calls for a global investigation into the source of the coronavirus, which was first identified in China nearly a year ago.

The leaders of Australia and Japan held in-person talks on Tuesday to bolster defense ties between the two US allies to counter China's growing assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region amid the transition in American leadership.

Under the new deal, the two countries' defence forces will boost practical cooperation; joint involvement in multilateral drills will be facilitated; and a clear framework on the defence forces' operations in both countries will be formed.

The list of grievances from the Chinese embassy. Australian officials said it was a "pivotal moment in the history of Japan-Australia ties".

The Prime Minister has declared Australia's democracy "is not up for trade" after China issued a laundry list of sins it says Australia has committed against it, including seeking an investigation into the origin of COVID-19 and speaking up on human rights.

"We make no apologies for Australia having foreign investment laws that act in Australia's national interest, for protecting communications networks", he told the ABC on Thursday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian dismissed such allegations, calling the move "a gross interfere to China's internal matters".

"We need to keep that strong relationship with China going".

Scott Morrison's tough stance on China has yet to waver.

In an interview with Seven Network's Sunrise program, Morrison said: "Having a free media, having parliamentarians elected and able to speak their minds is a cause for concern, as well as speaking up on human rights in concert with other countries like Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and others in global forums, if this is the cause for tension in that relationship, then it would seem that the tension is that Australia is just being Australia".

In a sign the government is attempting to separate economic outcomes from security and military ones, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Wednesday Australia stood ready to engage in "respectful and beneficial" dialogue with the Chinese Communist Party.

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