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As Australia opens up, China dispute looms

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published 2 weeks ago - Duration: 01:29s

As Australia opens up, China dispute looms

Australian officials announced a raft of plans on Wednesday to speed up the resumption of public life across the country to boost the ailing economy.

But it comes amid a diplomatic spat with major trading partner China.

Emer McCarthy reports.

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As Australia opens up, China dispute looms

A return to normal life is on its way for Australians, and official there have announced a raft of plans to speed up that process.

In the country's most populous state, New South Wales, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that recreation travel will resume on June 1.

Reopening tourist regions on its southern coast that were damaged by devastating bushfires during the summer.

''We want people to enjoy themselves, to feel free, but at the same time please know that nothing we do is the same during a pandemic.'' Australia has reported just over 7,000 infections and 100 deaths, and its government says only 11 new cases were recorded in a 24 hour period.

The country's states and territories are implementing a three-step federal government plan to unwind lockdown measures that have been in place for two months-- but the staggered pace means different restrictions around the country at any point in time.

Meanwhile, the return to normal comes amid a dispute with China over Australia's leading role in the push for a global inquiry into the origins and spread of the pandemic.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry suggested it was "political maneuvering''.

And Beijing last week banned some major Australian meat exporters, citing labeling breaches, and this week placed hefty anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on Australian barley.

There is concern the measure may be retaliation.

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