Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is standing firm on the need for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus in China, even as the Asian giant accused Australia of playing "political games".
Foreign Minister Marise Payne raised the idea of an international inquiry a week ago, calling for greater transparency on how COVID-19 originated and how it was subsequently handled.
"We want more transparency within the communist party of China in the way they have dealt with this virus issue," Mr Dutton told Sky News on Sunday.
"If not just to understand how we can defeat this threat into the future when you have got these wildlife wet markets where the flu may have originated from."
He said there needs to be reassurance globally this is not going to happen again in 12 months or two years time.
"We need a level of reassurance that's not there at the moment," he said.
But China has hit back, describing the independent review proposed by Australia as "political manoeuvring".
"At such a critical juncture, it is highly irresponsible to resort to politically motivated suspicion and accusation," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement to various media outlets.
"We advise the Australian side to put aside ideological bias and political games, focus on the welfare of the Australian people and global public health security, follow the international community's collective will for cooperation, and contribute to the global cooperation in fighting the virus, instead of doing things to the contrary."
Australian Associated Press