Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne has warned China of attempts to "economic coercion" as Australia is pushing for an investigation into the China-rejected pandemic of coronavirus.
The Chinese ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, said in a newspaper interview on Monday that the "Chinese public" could avoid Australian products and universities.
Australia called on all members of the World Health Organization (WHO) to support an independent review of the development and spread of the coronavirus last week and is committed to the world's leading politicians.
China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has attacked the proposal.
"Maybe ordinary people will say & # 39; Why should we drink Australian wine? Eat Australian beef?" Cheng said in the interview published on the front page of The Australian Financial Review.
Cheng said it is possible that tourists may have "second thoughts" about visiting Australia.
"The parents of the students would also think … if this is the best place to send their children," he added.
After energy exports, education and tourism are Australia's largest export industry, with China being the largest market.
Payne said in a statement on Monday that Australia had made a "fundamental call" for an independent review of the COVID-19 outbreak that started in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
"We reject any suggestion that economic coercion is a reasonable response to a call for such an assessment if we need global cooperation," said Payne.
China is the largest export market for Australian wine and beef. During the tense diplomatic relationship with China in 2018, Australian wines were delayed in importing China, and some Australian beef exports were also suspended for a period of time.
The Chinese embassy in Australia has previously warned Chinese students of security risks when traveling to Australia.
Payne said an "honest assessment" of the pandemic would try to strengthen WHO's role.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang declined calls for investigation during a daily briefing in Beijing, but did not comment specifically on Australia.
"China is the first country to report a COVID case, but that doesn't mean the virus is from China," he told reporters.
"Some people are trying to exaggerate the so-called investigations, which are incompatible with an international atmosphere of cooperation, and their political maneuvers will be unsuccessful."
The novel corona virus has infected 2.97 million people worldwide and killed more than 205,000 people, according to a Reuters report.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)