Xi Jinping and Scott Morrison (Images: AAP)

Some months back one side of the Australia-China spat got personal when the Morrison government called for an independent review into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic infuriated President Xi Jinping and his entourage. State media People’s Daily issued a fierce editorial.

This week the Australian side grew personal when Prime Minister Scott Morrison called a press conference to shame China for what he called a "repugnant post" published on a Chinese government Twitter account. Morrison was clearly offended.

long-running bilateral dispute over diplomacy and trade now involves two men
who feel personally aggrieved. It’s not a good sign.