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China must respect Australian values: PM

flags of China and Australia painted on cracked wall

According to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, "China must respect Australian values" (Bigstock)

Scott Morrison has declared China must respect Australia's values and national interests as the coronavirus places incredible strain on diplomatic relations.

Australia's calls for a global inquiry into the origins of coronavirus have infuriated the Chinese government, which has suspended beef imports from four abattoirs and threatened to slap huge tariffs on Australian barley.

The prime minister said his push for an independent inquiry was "completely unremarkable" and Australia would stand its ground.

"We draw very clear lines about things that are very important to us, as does the Chinese government," he told reporters in Canberra on Friday.

"We respect their lines, as we expect our lines to be respected, whether it's on our foreign investment rules, or our rules around technology, our rules regarding human rights and things of that nature.

"I don't think any Australian would want us to compromise on those important things, and those things are not to be traded, ever."

CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman said the escalation in Australia-China tensions in recent weeks was "not ideal", with travel bans already impacting the tourism and education sectors.

"After ... contending with drought and bushfires, Aussie farmers won't welcome a stoush with our biggest trading partner," he said.

He said a "policy roadmap" was required.

The latest data out of China shows the nation is on the mend, with industrial production expanding for the first time this year.

However, there are concerns about rising unemployment and fragile consumer confidence.

Chinese policymakers meet on May 22 for the National People's Congress, where economic growth targets and details of other initiatives will be released.

© AAP 2020