Scott Morrison China
Xi Jinping and Scott Morrison (Image: AAP)

It is now clear that something of a perfect storm has settled atop the China-Australia relationship and there are few signs that it will be moving on anytime soon.

The stoush between Australia and its biggest trade partner over security -- and most explicitly Chinese interference in Australian politics, education and research -- comes at a time when the Morrison government is desperate to reopen the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns.

Yet growing hysteria by the federal government about the Victorian Labor government’s strict lockdown being a dead weight on the Australian economy is at sharp odds with the ongoing program of testing Beijing at every turn.