Australia has mishandled the inquiry into Covid-1 9, but it is in uncomfortable and unfamiliar territory

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For more than a decade, Australia has faced a apparently impossible choice: whether to strengthen ties with its closest ally, the United Government, or with its largest trading collaborator, China.

But the Covid-1 9 pandemic- which has highlighted the hazards be represented by both Donald Trump’s nativism and Xi Jinping’s authoritarianism- is forcing Australia to confront a new option: select neither.

Related: In a testy post-Covid-1 9 world-wide, Chinese sanctions of Australian goods may be closer than ever | Richard McGregor

Jonathan Pearlman is editor of Australian Foreign Affairs and world editor of The Saturday Paper

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