China tried to convince New Zealand not to go into a closed state, despite the threat of the deadly coronavirus, the country’s secretary of state, Winston Peters, said.
He revealed that Chinese politicians accused the country of “overreacting” to the impending crisis.
Australia and New Zealand have both acted quickly to close their borders – especially with China, where the outbreak started – leading to some of the lowest infection rates in the world.
Mr. Peters, who is also the country’s deputy prime minister, said his first phone call about the COVID-19 crisis was with his Chinese counterpart.
“Without taking turns, they wanted a discussion about why we did it because they thought it was an exaggeration,” he said. Stuffpodcast.
“They didn’t want us to get locked up … and I suppose they wanted a discussion about that.
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters (pictured on March 12) revealed that his first phone call as Secretary of State spoke to his counterpart in China, asking them not to lock up
“We had a long discussion, but in the end I said,” Look, you will understand that we have heard what you have to say, that we must protect our own people, and as soon as we can. “
“And it ended with,” Well, I hope to see you someday, “something like that.”
New Zealand was shut down on March 25 to protect its citizens from COVID-19, which had already killed thousands of people around the world.
People were instructed to keep social distance and were only allowed to go outside with one other family member for essential items.
After a strict seven-week shutdown, the country has slowly lifted some restrictions from level four to level two.
Hairdressers give clients at the French barber haircuts in Wellington, New Zealand on Thursday (photo) as the restrictions get easier to level two
A wet market in Wuhan’s Chinese coronavirus epicenter opens on May 4 (pictured) despite such markets believed to be the source of the virus
On Thursday, the country eased further restrictions from level three to level two, opening shops, cafes, gyms, and playgrounds.
Friends and family are also allowed to gather outside their household, as long as security measures are followed.
“As of today, we have registered only 90 New Zealanders with the virus, with only two in hospital,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told parliament.
“Nothing came from happiness, but from hard work.
“We are ready to go to level two, to open up the economy, but to do it as safely as possible.”
On May 18, schools and early learning centers will continue as normal with students expecting to return to normal.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured right) with Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters (left) in Wellington, New Zealand on Thursday
Police stop vehicles to drive north on state highway one at Warkworth on April 9 in Auckland, New Zealand (shown)
New Zealand has suffered a total of 21 deaths from COVID-19 and has not reported any cases in the past three days.
Tensions between Australia and China continue to escalate as the government requests a review by China to understand ‘exactly’ how the corona virus originated.
In the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak in Australia, the federal government was told that the deadly virus may have leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan.
The Morrison administration was told in February that it was a 50 percent chance of being accidentally released from a bio-containment facility at the original Chinese virus epicenter before more was revealed.
The government now believes the Wuhan Institute of Virology is unlikely to be the source of the virus that claimed 89 lives in Australia and more than three million worldwide.
Sellers with masks sell seafood at Xihua Farmer’s Market in Guangzhou, China on May 4 (photo)
Locals in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, will be tested on May 14 (shown)
It comes after it was revealed that two senior scientists from the laboratory – Peng Zhou and Shi Zhengli – previously studied bats at CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory as part of research funded by both the Australian and Chinese governments.
“We want a clear, independent, fearless global assessment of the origins, actions, and global path forward regarding this and all future pandemics,” Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told the Daily Telegraph.
The work of Mr. Zhou and Ms. Zhengli is being investigated by intelligence agencies of the “Five Eyes” network consisting of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and the US as part of their investigation of the origin of the corona virus.
This later caused trade tensions, as China banned meat exports from four Australian slaughterhouses as trade tensions between the two nations escalated in the wake of the spread of the corona virus.
The Australian government now believes it is unlikely that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (photo) in China was the source of the virus
Shi Zhengli (left) and Peng Zhou (right) wrote a paper together in January that said the new coronavirus probably came from bats, similar to SARS
The meat suppliers – three from Queensland and one from New South Wales – sell approximately $ 1 billion worth of meat to China each year, accounting for about a third of total beef exports to our largest trading partner.
China also threatened an 80 percent rate on Australian barley, a measure that would paralyze the industry.
The Kilcoy Pastoral Company, Beef City in Toowoomba, Dinmore’s Meat Factory in Brisbane and the Northern Co-operative Meat Company in Casino, New South Wales have been temporarily blacklisted.
Trade Secretary Simon Birmingham told Daily Mail Australia that the suspensions were due to ‘very technical issues’ around labeling and health certification.
“I expect the technical issues to be all addressed,” he told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.
A hairdresser is seen working again in Auckland, New Zealand on Thursday, after restrictions were lifted (photo)
A bottle of hand sanitizer is seen at a Wellington restaurant (pictured) on Thursday after restrictions were lifted